THE Patriotic Front (PF) has opened up the contest for its presidential candidancy with the party secretary general Edgar Lungu announcing that members who are interested will be allowed to do so in a fair and transparent manner.
Under the PF Constitution, Article 52 (10) states; “A member of the Party shall not be qualified as a candidate for the office of the President of the Party unless he has been a member of the Party for five years immediately preceding the nomination and he is qualified under the Constitution of Zambia for election to the office of the President of Zambia.”
Mr Lungu, who is Minister of Defence and Justice, said the party would allow anyone with presidential ambitions an opportunity to express themselves freely.
He said in a press statement issued in Lusaka yesterday that PF was committed to continuing with the process of a free, fair and transparent election for the party presidential candidate and during the by-election for the Republican President.
Mr Lungu assured the international community that Government will maintain stability, peace and tranquility that the country has enjoyed for a long time throughout the transition period.
“To that effect, the Patriotic Front would like to assure the nation, business groups and the international community at large that we are determined to ensure that there is stability, peace and tranquility during the period and beyond.
“This will include the selection of the Patriotic Front party presidential candidate being done in a free, fair and transparent process, allowing anyone who wants to be a contender the chance to do so. The entirety of party delegates will have the opportunity to openly elect their own leader,” he said.
He appealed to the people to continue to show respect during the period of national mourning because Zambia was a peaceful and friendly country.
Mr Lungu acknowledged that PF might have some differences of opinion that have emerged, adding that the ruling party was confident and capable of rising above such challenges.
He said during the 90 days transition, PF would continue to safeguard the friendly environment for business, tourism and peaceful transition of power within the party. Mr Lungu said PF would seize the opportunity to set an example of peace and stability in Africa.
He said PF was committed to continuing with the enabling environment that has created opportunities, encouraged higher rates of investment and growth for the economy, and protected consumer interests.
“The Patriotic Front is committed to continuing the promotion of well targeted Government investment in infrastructure development in the country,” Mr Lungu said.
He said Zambia’s governance systems were strong and had always demonstrated smooth transitions to new parties and presidents throughout its history.
Under the PF constitution, other qualifications for the party president according to Article 52 are as follows;
(1) The President of the Party shall be elected at the General Conference of the Party.
(2) A candidate shall indicate to the Secretary-General of the Party his intention to stand for the Office of the President of the Party not less than one day before the date of the General Conference.
(4) The Secretary General of the Party shall submit the name or names of the candidates of the Central Committee for consideration and where there is more than one candidate the Central Committee may indicate support for one of the candidates.
(5) The Central Committee shall submit the name of the candidate or candidates to the National Council for approval or disapproval.
(6) The person whose candidature for the office is not approved by the National Council shall not be eligible for election at the General Conference for the office of the President of the Party.
(7) A candidate whose candidature for the office of the President of the Party is approved by the National Council shall lodge his nomination papers with the Returning Officer appointed by the Electoral Commission supported by 20 delegates from each of the Provinces of Zambia attending the General Conference.
(8) If more than one candidate stand for the office of the President of the Party, each delegate to the General Conference shall vote for one candidate only and the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes shall be the sole candidate for election to the office of the President of the Republic.
(9) Where only one candidate has filed nomination papers at the close of nomination, such a Candidate shall be declared duly elected President of the Party without conducting a poll.
(10) A member of the Party shall not be qualified as a candidate for the office of the President of the Party unless he has been a member of the Party for five years immediately preceding the nomination and he is qualified under the Constitution of Zambia for election to the office of the President of Zambia.
(11) If the person elected as President of the Party is not elected as President of the Republic he shall continue to be President of the Party until a President of the Party is elected at another extraordinary General Conference.