The NDF’s resolution on adopting the principle for formation of a coalition government in a political system in which government is not formed based on representative seats in Parliament is another way of sidelining political ambitions of minority tribes in a country with such polarised politics.
Going by 2016 General Elections results and assuming Mr. Lungu hadn’t managed a 50% + 1, Mr. Hichilema would not have managed to convince any of the losing Presidential candidates to form a coalition government because of the number of seats the PF, in opposition, would command. Meaning they could easily frustrate the coalition government in Parliament and could even easily pass a vote of no confidence in the minority President.
In my opinion, we have continued prioritising targeted legislation at the expense of nurturing democracy with a view to promoting diversity of voices in Parliament for a more people driven representative public policy generation. There is need for Parliament to draw its power from the electorates and allow opposition voices to be heard through proportional representation as opposed to the current status quo in which the electoral map is stark and divided.
Proportional representation in Zambia, observes Timothy Wild, “would encourage politicians to have a more nuanced approach to politics and force them to develop policies that respond to the needs of the people.” Timothy is a Canadian social worker who was in Zambia as a volunteer at the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection in Lusaka.
With this simple looking resolution by the NDF, the opposition UPND may have just been confined to a perpetual life as an opposition political party because what motivation will the neurals have in 2021 to vote for the UPND that can’t form government anyway rendering its presence in Parliament useless?
Mpandashalo Evans Mwewa
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