THE United Party for National Development (UPND) has asked the Constitutional Court to order President Edgar Lungu to vacate office to allow Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini to take over under a law that only applies to a rerun.
They have asked for “an order which in terms of the provisions of Article 104 of the Constitution, the Speaker of the National Assembly does forthwith assume the duties and functions of the President of the Republic pending the final determination of this petition.”
The Article refers to a situation where a rerun has been held and the loser petitions in which case it reads:
(3) Where an election petition
is filed against the incumbent,
under Article 103 (1), or an
election is nullified, under
Article 103 (3)(b) the Speaker
shall perform the executive
functions, except the power
to-(a) make an appointment;
or (b) dissolve the national
The upndpetition has been moved under Articles 101, 102, 103, 104, 118, 221, and 267 of the Constitution in which they have demanded that the Constitutional Court should order a recount of the rejected ballots and an order that they be given to respective candidates.
The UPND in its petition is demanding that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) should surrender to the Constitutional Court papers including ballot papers, records documents of the August 11, 2016 general elections, and all other documents relating the said elections.
The UPND is demanding for:
- And order that pending the hearing and determination of the petition, all ballot papers, account forms, polling station records of proceedings at the Court Forms, statement of rejected ballots, forms record of proceedings at the totaling forms should be in court custody
- An order that the ECZ and its servants agents or whomsoever, be restrained from altering, destroying, tampering with accessing or in any way dealing with the documents and materials subject to the application.
III. An order that the rejected ballots be recounted, scrutinised and verified and that any votes found not to be invalid after that be added back t o the total of valid votes cast in favour of the affected candidate.
In the alternative, in the event that a recount and scrutinisation is ordered and the resultant recount of the ballots cast shows that the 1st petitioner obtained the required majority of valid ballots cast for election as President, a declaration that the 1st petitioner is the winner of the election and consequently a declaration of the 1st and 2nd petitioners as President-elect and Vice President-elect respectively.
Meanwhile, Constitutional Court Justice Ann Sitali has set Monday 22, 2016 as date for an interparty hearing following an application for an ex-parte order of detention custody and preservation and interim injunction for the court to restrain ECZ from “altering, destroying, tampering with and accessing or in any way dealing with the documents and material subject to the application for relief set out…”
UNDP was being represented by over 20 law firms among them Malambo and Company, Simeza Sangwa and Associates, Mwiimbu Muleza and Associates, Lukona Chambers, Mushota and Associates, Dove Chambers, Dindi and Company, Mushipe and Associates, PNP Advocates and Keith Mweemba Advocates among others, with more expected to join the team including some foreign attorneys.