HAKAINDE Hichilema and his members of Parliament have been against the 50 percent plus 1 vote because of the impending defeat they are going to suffer in the 2016 general elections, the Patriotic Front (PF) has said.
But Mr Hichilema has said it is a tragedy that the PF members of Parliament have voted against the provincial assembly’s clause which Zambians wanted.
PF media and publicity committee vice chairman Sunday Chanda said Mr Hichilema and the United Party for National Development (UPND) were scared that the 50 percent plus 1 threshold for a presidential winner was going to work to their disadvantage hence their decision to vote against the clause.
Mr Chanda said the 50 percent plus 1 clause had certainly knocked one of the two UPND vice-presidents Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba and Canisius Banda from the presidential running mate.
He claimed that Mr Hichilema was scared of his two vice-presidents to be his running mates and that was why he was strongly opposed to the majoritarian clause in the Draft Constitution.
Mr Chanda said Mr Hichilema had run out of reasons to criticize the PF and President Edgar Lungu and had resorted to using the global commodity decline and slump as a blunt political instrument to attack the Head of State.
He explained that President Lungu had taken brave decisions to save jobs on the Copperbelt but Mr Hichilema had continued in his feeble attempt to incite the retrenched workers to revolt against the PF Government and President Lungu.
“Zambians must be wondering why the UPND and its members of Parliament decided to vote against the Constitution Amendment Bill of 2015. But the reason is that the UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema knows that the 50 percent plus 1 clause will disadvantage the UPND. The clause will also not allow Mr Hichilema’s two vice-presidents to be his running mate,” Mr Chanda said.
He said the PF commended President Lungu for fulfilling a promise of having a people-driven Constitution that had eluded Zambians for the past 51 years.
Mr Chanda said Zambia could trust President Lungu on the Constitution-making process and that the Head of State meant well and the people would not be making a mistake to trust him on the Bill of Rights and the referendum.
But Mr Hichilema said it was a tragedy that Patriotic Front (PF) members of parliament had voted against the provincial assembly’s clause which Zambians wanted.
Speaking in an interview with Millennium Radio, Mr. Hichilema said the Zambian people cannot only be happy with adoption of the 50+1, presidential running mate clause without the provincial assembly’s clauses stating that the people of Zambia wanted devolution of power.
He said the people wanted proportional representation and devolution of the provincial assemblies in order to curb corruption in Lusaka.
Mr. Hichilema accused the PF of voting for the 50+1 and presidential running mate because they were lobbying with the MMD in exchange of the running mate.