JOHN SANGWA WAS WRONG ….the constitution amendment 2016 provides for early elections- SINKAMBA


….the constitution amendment 2016 provides for early elections

Kitwe… Friday May 24, 2024 (SMART EAGLES)

Green Party President Peter Sinkamba says Constitutional Lawyer John Sangwa was wrong to suggest that the current constitution does not allow early elections.

Mr Sinkamba argues that contrary to the assertion by Mr. Sangwa, the Constitutions of Zambia have always provided for early elections.

He said this includes the Constitution Amendment 2016.

“A couple of days ago, Constitutional lawyer John Sangwa, State Counsel, is quoted by various sections of the media to have said that former President Edgar Lungu’s suggestion of an early election reveals ignorance of the law, noting that the current Constitution does not provide for early elections. As an active advocate for the referendum in 1990, and having been former Constitutional Review Commissioner, and participated in several constitution-making processes since the 1991 Mvunga Constitution Review Commission, I argue, with a very high degree of certainty, that SC Sangwa erred in the above statement attributed to him,” he stated.

“If only Mr. Sangwa had read and thoroughly understood Article 5 and 81 of the Constitution Amendment 2016, he would not have arrived at such an outrageous conclusion.”

He further argued that Article 5(1) of the Constitution provides that the sovereign authority vests in the people of Zambia, which may be exercised directly or through elected or appointed
representatives or institutions.

“However, Article 5(3) adds that the people of Zambia shall exercise their reserved powerthrough a referendum, as prescribed. So, in line with this provision, if the people of Zambia demand overwhelmingly, at anytime during the 5- year electoral cycle, that they want general elections to be held before the date set in the Constitution, all that is required to be done is to hold a referendum,” he indicated.

“If the outcome of such referendum is in the affirmative, then elections will be held before the date set in the Constitution. Alternatively, if the President thinks holding a referendum is unnecessary considering the overwhelming nature of the demand the President may proceed to dissolve Parliament and thereby cause the election to be held within 90 days of such dissolution of parliament. Like did Dr. Kaunda in 1990 when he realized the demand for the repeal of Article 4, which provided for One Party State, was overwhelming, he proceeded to reintroduce multipartysm without holding a referendum.”

The Green Party leader explained that in the case of Article 81, if Members of Parliament make it difficult for government to pass any bill or refuse to participate in any parliamentary business, the President may be compelled to dissolve parliament and thereby cause the general elections to be held within 90 days of dissolution.

“In view of the foregoing, it is very, very unfortunate that SC Sangwa labelled his brother ECL to be ignorant of the law, when in fact an early election is provided for in the Constitution Amendment 2016. And has always been provided in all constitutions since 1964,” he concluded.

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