IT IS hypocrisy for some opposition political parties to oppose now the requirement for 1,000 supporters drawn from all 10 provinces for one to be nominated as presidential candidate as stipulated in the new Constitution.
Foundation for Democratic Process executive director McDonald Chipenzi questioned why some opposition parties have started complaining over the submission which they supported during the district and national assemblies. Mr. Chipenzi said there was nothing undemocratic about the 1,000 supporters’ clause, stating that no political party was against the law when it was brought up during people’s conventions.
“The submission was made by the some political parties who are complaining. It was brought to these assemblies and conventions and every one supported it; there was no one who was against it,” Mr Chipenzi said.
He said it would be hypocritical for anyone to start complaining now because the draft had been on the shelf for a long time.
Mr. Chipenzi said some of the political parties which are part of the Grand Coalition opted to support the clause that it was what they wanted to do.
“Some of these political parties when we were in the Grand Coalition opted to come out and say this is what they wanted to do,” he said.
“And the motive behind that 1, 000 supporters was based on the fact that some of these parties are regional and would not manage to bring the 200 in one province, so if they have to be national and be respected, they just have to be mobile,” Mr. Chipenzi said.
He said political parties have to be mobile if they have to be national and respected.
Mr. Chipenzi said there was nothing undemocratic about the 1,000 supporters’ clause, stating that no political party was against the law when it was brought for conventions.
“It is not undemocratic to ask people to do what has to be done; if in the Constitution we are against regional political parties, why should we not put a fertile ground for political parties,” he said.
“Let them cultivate support from across the country; if they can’t, they cannot get nominated. That is the nature of democracy, democracy is rule of law,” he said.
He said political parties had no option but to follow the law once it was amended.
The qualification for previous presidential elections was for a candidate to go for nomination with 200 registered voters but the new Constitution stipulates that the candidate should draw 100 supporters from each of the 10 provinces, bringing the number to 1,000 supporters.