MAJOR amendments shall be made to the UPND petition next week Monday if the Constitutional Court rules on an application made yesterday in opposition to Edgar Lungu’s lawyers to strike out portions of their petition for irregularities and contradiction.
President Lungu applied to the Constitutional Court on Wednesday to strike out reference to Article 103 in the petition as that did not apply in an election petition under an initial ballot.
UPND have disagreed with the interpretation of Article 103 and have argued that the said reference was appropriate as it talked about a situation where the incumbent was the President-elect “nevertheless, the petitioners have since lodged an application before the Court in which they seek leave to amend the petition so that it expressly states on its face that it has been made pursuant to the provisions of Article 103 of the Constitution.”
UPND insisted the Constitutional Court had jurisdiction to hear the presidential petition with the reliefs sought over the declaration of the PF presidential candidate as winner of the 2016 general elections.
UPND lawyers Vincent Malambo made submissions in response to respondents’ arguments in opposition to summons for an order of preservation custody and detention and for an order of interim injunction filed before the Constitutional Court.
Mr Malambo said among other reliefs sought in the petition, where for the Constitutional Court not to be restricted in its operations in granting applications including interim reliefs sought by the petitioners.
He accused the respondents of seemingly failing to comprehend the import of the cited provisions, that it was not only after hearing such a petition could the courts be able to grant the listed remedies sought.
“That is to say, the provisions apply in relation to the determination of substantive issues before Court, which in this case is a petition challenging the purported election of the 1st and 2nd respondents as president-elect and vice president-elect of the Republic of Zambia respectively.
“There is nothing in those provisions that prohibits the Court from making interlocutory or interim orders pending the final determination of the substantive matter,” he said.
They argued that with some Articles cited out of context, most of the provisions brought forward did not in any way bar the petitioners from making applications for and subsequent granting of such applications by the Constitutional Courts.
They charged that the Court has wide jurisdiction without any qualification or restriction to hear and determine an application for an interim order.
“We submit that had the drafters of Rules intended for there to be any sort of restriction on the power conferred upon the Court to grant interim relief, they would not have cast the subject provision in such wide terms or, conversely, they would have expressly set out the required restriction with Rules.
“We submit that the respondents’ contention to the effect that Order 10 Rule (2) (1) does not confer any jurisdiction upon this Honourable Court to grant the interim relief sought by the petitioners lacks merit,” he said.