CONSTITUTION ALLOWS LUNGU TO STAND IN 2021

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Emmanuel Chilekwa
Emmanuel Chilekwa

By Emmanuel Chilekwa 

Ignorance and immense pungent misunderstanding of the Constitution is at the fore, once again. And those opposing President Lungu standing in 2021 have not read the provisions in the Constitution.

They are simply talking from uncommon illogical sense angle.

My President says the law doesn’t stop him from running for office in 2021. And he is right, absolutely right. He is basing his argument on Article 106 (3)(a) which says “(a) to have served a FULL term as President if, at the date on which the President assumed office, at least THREE years remain”.

President Lungu only served 18 months, far below the three year threshold to consider him for a full term, by the constitution. So, even though he occupied office of President, the Constitution doesn’t say that he served a Term.

Clarity on this, sits in Article 106 which in Sub Article (6) (a) and (b) : “(a) to have served a FULL term as President if, at the date on which the President assumed office, at least THREE years remain BEFORE the date of the next general election; or

So, what does the Constitution say about President Lungu’s first 18 months in office? 106 (6) (a) and (b) says :

(b) NOT to have served a term of office as President if, at the date on which the President assumed office,LESS THAN THREE YEARS remain before the date of the next general election.

So, President Lungu is on very firm grounds, Constitutionally. The 18 months he served, THIS Constitution has thrown it out, it is allocated to Sata, and Lungu is considered to have just been passing through the Office of President and not holding it as his, meaning, Lungu was just finishing it, the Constitution says, that is Sata’s term, not Lungu’s.

Now the opponents, who are desirous of kicking him out of Plot 1 are basing their arguments mainly on Article 81 (3) which says:

(3) A person who has TWICE held office as President is not eligible for election as President.

They are forgetting to tie it to when the Constitution considers you to have run a TERM, being 3 to 5 years of life of Parliament. Just being in the Office, for two hours, two months, one year or 18 months doesn’t mean you have held the Office of President ONCE – that is what THIS Constitution says.

Therefore, it is very clear that to be considered as having run ONE Term, one must serve at LEAST 3 years, otherwise, you will only be considered as finishing the term for the previous president, so it is NOT a term at all, so there is no once for Lungu.

Lungu’s FIRST term commenced after the 11 August 2015 elections, ending in August 2021, that is his first term, CONSTITUTIONALLY and he is allowed to go till 2026.

Reading further, Article 81 (1) says, “The term of Parliament shall be five years commencing from the date that the Members of Parliament are sworn into office after a general election and ending on the date that Parliament is dissolved.

(a) to have served a FULL term as President if, at the date on which the President assumed office, at least THREE years remain BEFORE the date of the next general election; or

(b) not to have served a term of office as President if, at the date on which the President assumed office, less than three years remain before the date of the next general election.

TERM OF OFFICE OF PRESIDENT
Article 106 states clearly what a TERM is.

106. (1) The term of office for a President is FIVE years which
shall run concurrently with the term of Parliament, except that the
term of office of President shall expire when the President-elect
assumes office in accordance with Article 105.

(2) A President shall hold office from the date the President elect
is sworn into office and ending on the date the next President elect
is sworn into office.

Now, the opponents of so called “Third Term”, are only arguing this out based on just single Article 81 (3) which says:

(3) A person who has TWICE held office as President is not eligible for election as President.

Now, Article 106 tells us when Office of President becomes vacant:

(4) The office of President becomes vacant if the President—
(a) dies;
(b) resigns by notice in writing to the Speaker of the National
Assembly; or
(c) otherwise ceases to hold office under Article 81,107 or 108.

(5) When a VACANCY occurs in the OFFICE of President, except
under Article 81—
(a) the Vice-President shall immediately assume the office
of President; or
(b) if the Vice-President is unable for a reason to assume the
office of President, the Speaker shall perform the
executive functions, except the power to —
(i) make an appointment; or
(ii) dissolve the National Assembly;
and a presidential election shall be held within sixty days
after the occurrence of the vacancy.

(6) If the Vice-President assumes the office of President, in
accordance with clause (5)(a), or a person is elected to the office
of President as a result of an election held in accordance with
clause 5(b), the Vice-President or the President-elect shall serve
for the unexpired term of office and be deemed, for the purposes
of clause (3)—

(a) to have served a FULL term as President if, at the date on which the President assumed office, at least THREE years remain BEFORE the date of the next general election; or

(b) not to have served a term of office as President if, at the date on which the President assumed office, less than three years remain before the date of the next general election.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. ARE U STILL SUPPORTED A THIEF & CORRUPTED MAN; WHICH VISION DO U SEE IN HIM? 2021 NO CHANCE FOR HIM. LUNGU’S CHIEF ADVISER RUPIAH BWEZENI BANDA, WHERE IS HE? AMOSE CHANDA IS GOING TO ANSWER.

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