No referendum for new constitution-IIDCF

THE new constitution should not be adopted through a referendum as that will be tantamount to holding a general election due to cost implications, says International Institute of Democracy and Conflicts Resolution (IIDCR) president Tresford Chomba.

Mr Chomba said his institution was totally opposed to some organisations that were calling for the adoption of the constitution through a referendum.

He  said IIDCR was also opposed to some clauses such as the 50+1 and running mate as that would disadvantage the ruling party, as it would be be deprived of completing its agenda in case of the office of the President fell vacant

In a letter written to Justice Minister Ngosa Simbyakula, he said it would be prudent that Zambia adopted the constitution through an efficient and transparent mode such as the constituent assembly or the National Assembly.

Mr Chomba reiterated that it would be impossible for the country to adopt the Constitution through the national referendum considering that the country would be holding general elections next year.

“Embarking on the national referendum is impossible alongside the pending general elections,” he said.

He said his institution would however embark on a sensitization program countrywide to get public opinion on the mode of adopting the Constitution, as most Zambian people especially in rural areas did not understand the meaning of the Constitution.

But the Grand Coalition on the constitution-making process insisted that it would not accept any partial amendment to the Constitution and called on relevant stakeholders especially parliamentarians to stop the process before it was presented to the National Assembly.

The Coalition said the Government should engage seriously on its commitment to the referendum on the constitution-making process.

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