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‘BILL 10 OPPONENTS HAVE PUT AUGUST 12 POLLS AT RISK’

By NATION REPORTER
OPPONENTS of Bill 10 will have themselves to blame if elections are cancelled because of the Linda Kasonde and Sishuwa Sishuwa petition in the Constitutional Court against presidential running mates, former Fisheries and Livestock minister Greyford Monde has said.

The August 12, 2021 elections may not take place should the Constitutional Court agree with petitioners being represented by Mr John Sangwa.

The petitioners have contended that presidential running mates had allegedly violated the constitution by failing to pay nomination fees and to provide 100 registered voters from each province as stipulated in the constitution among other infractions.

All presidential running mates had neither paid nomination fees nor provided the 100 registered voters from each province but Article 30 (1)(b) exempts them from paying nomination fees while the constitution is silent on providing 100 registered voters from each province.

Article 30 (1) (b) states that: “except that a candidate for election as a Vice President shall not pay the prescribed fee.”

It is not clear if the entire election would be cancelled considering that the tenure of Presidency is coterminous with Parliament.

Rectifying this anomaly will require a new electoral calendar.

The failed Bill 10 was intended remove Article 52 to bridge the differences between the Electoral Process Act against constitutional provisions by providing a clear and an unambiguous provision.

Mr Monde, a former United Party for National Development (UPND) official, said the unnecessary insecurity of the opposition party was now biting.

He said UPND’s fears of the unknown when it instructed its Members of Parliament to shoot down Bill 10 was tantamount to shooting itself in the foot.

Mr Monde said UPND would equally be badly affected by the cancellation of elections if that became the case.

He said in an interview that because of being adamant on amending Bill 10 which would have led to the repealing of article 52, the opposition political parties have put the August 12 elections at risk of being cancelled.

“UPND couldn’t see this coming because their Anti-Bill 10 campaign was centred on pure hate and not love for the country,” he said

Mr Monde said all would lose out including all the opposition political parties that fought hard to shoot down the bill if the elections are counselled following the petition by Ms Kasonde and Mr Sishuwa.

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