ALLIANCE for Better Zambia (ABZ) president Frank Bwalya says he will not contest the presidential election but advised Patriotic Front (PF) to adopt Minister of Justice and Defence Edgar Lungu because he is the “perfect winning formula” for the ruling party.
Fr Bwalya said at a press briefing that if PF would not adopt Mr Lungu, there would be disaster for PF in the presidential election next year.
He said his party has endorsed Mr Lungu because of growing public acceptance he has received and that people were ready to vote for him to finish President Michael Sata’s term of office.
He said President Sata might have appointed Mr Lungu to key positions because he saw that Mr Lungu would be the perfect winning formula for the ruling party if there was presidential election.
“In other words, it is our considered view that if PF adopts Edgar Lungu as presidential candidate for January 20 election, PF stands greater chance to win the election,” Fr Bwalya said.
“In my view, I look at him as a lucky man. God has put him there for a purpose to finish the term of President Michael Sata.”
He added: “I don’t see it possible that PF will adopt any candidate among those that have applied apart from Mr Edgar Lungu. If it happens, it would be a disaster for PF.”
Fr Bwalya said he wanted to contest the election but he was advised not to because he could not win but said he would not hesitate to do so in future. And a PF member Sunday Chanda said there was a scheme to disqualify Mr Lungu from the PF presidential race on fictitious grounds that his biological mother was of Malawian origin.
Mr Chanda said in a statement that it was a shame that 50 years after independence, the same old tricks would still be employed in this race
“It must be agreed that such schemes are serious indications of desperation of the worst order where individuals and groups go to great lengths to abuse the State machinery in order to exclude competitors or rather those they do not like from competing in what must be a democratic race,” he said.
Mr Chanda said such desperate acts would not be executed without a backlash from those who believed in justice and a level playing field.