The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has submitted that John Sangwa’s petition to amend the affidavit for Presidential candidate/Running mate to include a clause “I have not twice held office as President” is out of time.
ECZ also submitted that the contents of the affidavit for Presidential candidates / Running mate conform to the requirements of Article 100 of the Constitution which relates to the qualifications and disqualifications of Presidential candidates.
The ECZ and the Attorney General are first and second respondents in the petition.
In response to Sangwa’s petition, ECZ stated on Friday that it was not a mandatory requirement to include the provisions of Article 106 (3) of the Constitution in the prescribed affidavit as the article relates to the tenure office of the President which is not provided for under Article 100.
The ECZ submitted that according to Article 67 (3) of the Constitution, Sangwa was supposed to have challenged the Statutory Instrument within 14 days of the publication.
“We submit that given that the Statutory Instrument in question was published on 12th August 2016, the petition is therefore clearly out of time. We submit that the delay in challenging its constitutionality is inordinate and inexcusable and in line with Article 67 (4) the petitioner’s claim should be dismissed with costs for being vexatious,” ECZ submitted.
Sangwa had argued that ECZ had the constitutional obligation to ensure that the affidavit met all the requirements of the Constitution, which specify the qualification for nomination for election as President.
“The affidavit formulated by the first respondent ECZ does not address all the constitutional provisions that candidates must meet to qualify for election as President. “To qualify for election as President one must satisfy what is set out in Articles 100 (1), 100 (2) and 106 (3) of the Constitution. Article 100 (1) of the Constitution deals with the conditions that the candidate must satisfy in order for nomination for election as President,” he contended.
Sangwa’s prayer is for the court to command ECZ to amend the affidavit and include another paragraph which says “I have not held office twice” to comply with Article 106 (3).