THE whole PF convention was a charade, a circus and a mockery of what constitutes democracy, All People’s Congress Party (APC) president Nason Msoni has charged.
And Msoni says President Edgar Lungu should have bid farewell to Zambians at the convention to avoid the embarrassment of being barred from contesting the August elections.
In an interview, Tuesday, Msoni said the PF convention was a charade and a mockery of what constituted democracy.
“Whether there was democracy at play at the PF convention, I think that speaks for itself. The mere primitivity that we saw of closing off the entrance to the venue for anyone who wished to challenge President Lungu, that in itself is undemocratic conduct. The idea of mobilising and recruiting thugs and stationing them at the door, at the entrance awaiting to mete out instant mob justice on the opponent, it does not portray that you are dealing with democrats. It rather shows how primitive a political party is and how little they understand what the tenets of democracy are all about. The whole PF convention was a charade, a circus [and] a mockery of what constitutes democracy,” he said.
“We expect very high standards from a political party that is in government, because that should be the beacon of light. It should provide leadership in the area of what it entails in terms of upholding and practicing democracy. You cannot go to a convention like you are going to a wedding where everything else depicts one character of that convention. It’s undemocratic. It shows how ready these people are to defy the constitution. So, even when somebody wants to challenge you, how do they challenge you? So, we feel that this convention falls far short of democratic benchmarks as we know it and as we understand and how it is practiced in civilised political organisation and civilised nations.”
He added that the convention was a missed opportunity for President Lungu to have discussed his impediment in respect to the Republican Constitution.
“So, this was rather a rehearsed political process meant to deceive and cheat. So, it was a waste of time. Like I have said, it was a missed opportunity for Mr Lungu himself as a sole candidate to have discussed his predicament, to have discussed his impediment in respect to the Republican Constitution. These should have been discussed candidly and he missed an opportunity to address these matters. So, we think that the PF is out to find a fault with Zambians. We have told them how the matters stand with regards to the candidature and eligibility of President Lungu,” he said.
“But because of the primitive nature of this political party, they failed to grasp what is at hand. But we still have hope as Zambians that we still have credible men and women who resist to take anything that belongs to the bad candidate, we have confidence that we still have men and women of integrity who will not shoot to change what is politically correct.”
And Msoni said President Lungu should have bid farewell to Zambians at the convention to avoid the embarrassment of being barred from contesting the coming elections.
“We think that everyone in this country should be able to play by the same set of rules or laws. But if one person is going to defy the Constitution in a manner that leaves other players wondering, then what will become of this country surely? The sanctity of the Constitution must be respected whether it is flawed or not. And we hope that the President, and he still has a small window of opportunity to respect the Constitution and leave as a statesman,” he said.
“In so far as the matter stands, the President is barred by the Constitution. You cannot be sworn in three times in a row. So we think that he missed an opportunity to serve as a statesman. A retired former President who is a statesman. It will be disgraceful to see him being barred as a Presidential candidate. He hasn’t done as well as he should have done as President. By driving this country into debts of such unsustainable levels, that is not competency, that is not a man you would wish to give another chance because he has been the most incompetent President. So, I urge Zambians to deny Mr Lungu another attempt to circumvent the constitution.”