THE Constitutional Court has ruled that the hearing of the Election Petition must be concluded in fourteen days(14days) from the day of filing as provided for by the Constitution.
The Constitutional Court has since informed lawyers for Hakainde Hichilema and his running mate, Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba: (Petitioners) and lawyers for President Edgar Lungu (Respondents) that the Petition will be concluded on Friday, 2nd September 2016.
The Court guided that this matter is one of a straight-jacket scenario where time cannot be negotiated, changed or amended as all parties and the Court are bound by the Constitutional provisions.
This is likely to harm the Petitioners as they had hoped to table their evidence, witnesses, and bundle of documents until next week Thursday 8th September 2016.
Lawyers for President Edgar Lungu earlier insisted that the hearing of the Election Petition should end on Friday 2nd September 2016 in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
In their application filing a list of authorities, the lawyers had requested the Constitutional Court to make a final determination over the fourteen (14) days provision in which an election petition should be heard as provided by the Constitution.
They cited article 103 (2): the Constitutional Court shall hear an election petition relating to the President Elect within fourteen days of the filing of the Petition.
The lawyers also cited Article 269(d) that limits working days or other exclusion days if a matter is beyond 6 days.
The lawyers are also relying on Order XV Rule 7 that limits the Courts authority to amend, or extend time if such a time or period is stipulated by the Constitution.