YALI backs 50% +1 vote for President


THE Republican President should be elected by a majority of more than 50 per cent of all valid votes, Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has recommended.

And YALI has reaffirmed its support for the provision to be retained in the Bill where the Vice President is the running mate.

YALI president Andrew Ntewewe was making submissions to the Legal Affairs, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Rights Committee.

He said Parliament should provide that the Vice President should lose his seat if he was expelled from a political party which sponsored him or her as a running mate, and where such expulsion is confirmed by the High Court, or if the Vice President formed his or her own party, or joins another political party against the party that sponsored him or her.

Mr Ntewewe said in such a case Parliament must find a way of constituting a law that would enable such a vice president to be replaced.

Meanwhile, Non-Governmental Organisation Coordinating Council (NGOCC), Southern African Centre for Conflict and Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) and the Zambia Civic Initiative did not appear to make submissions

The three organisations informed the clerk in charge of the committee that they would not make submissions because they were members of the Grand Coalition on the people-driven Constitution.

Mr Ntewewe further submitted and recommended that Article 116 be retained in the Bill in order to allow the President appoint a prescribed number of persons, who are not Members of Parliament but who qualify to be Members of Parliament, subject to ratification by the National Assembly.

He also observed that the current Constitution did not grant the right of franchise to foreign nationals to vote in an election and yet Article 162 clause 4 (d) grants foreign nationals who are holders of resident permit but have no citizenship to stand for elections as a councillor.

“We recommend that clause 4 (d) be deleted as those who have no right to vote cannot seek the right to contest elections,” he said.

Mr Ntewewe said all persons who had the status of, and held a permanent residence permit, should be allowed to register as voters for purposes of local government elections which were in fact held under the Local Government Election Act.

And the Zambia Law Development Commission has expressed concern over the phrase “whose nationality and parents are not known in Article 35 (2).

The commissions feels the phrase would be problematic, adding that the danger would be that some unscrupulous parents of such children may opt to use relatives or other persons to claim to have found the child whose nationality and parents were not known, and proceed to seek a declaration that such a child be presumed a citizen by birth.

“Research also indicates the presence of unaccompanied minors on the move from one country to another. Unless the intention is to allow the country to be a haven of such minors, this provision will allow an influx of minors knowing that they will acquire citizenship,” read part of the commission’s submission.