THREE Lusaka residents have filed a petition in the Lusaka High Court seeking an order that the Electoral Commission of Zambian (ECZ) should not hold presidential elections in 2016.
The petitioners are Richard Mumba, Simemeza Syachoke and Wright Musoma.
They have argued that the ECZ should be stopped from holding presidential elections because the tenure of President Edgar Lungu is still subsisting as he was elected in January 2015.
The petition states that Article 35 (1) of the Constitution stated that subject to clause (2) and (4) every President shall hold office for a period of five years.
“Petitioners state that the 3rd respondent Edgar C. Lungu who we supported and voted for was elected for a period of five years from the date he was declared winner on or before 28th January and his tenure will expire on 2oth January 2020,” the petition reads.
They said under Article 38(1) of the Constitution, when a President dies in office there was no presidential by-election but an election for a tenure of five years.
“Your petitioners state that in our Constitution and other laws the by-elections is only for National Assembly when a member of Parliament and a ward councillor dies, resigns or is expelled as per Article 67 (1) which states that when a vacancy occurs in the seat of a member of the National Assembly, council as a result of death or resignation a by-election shall be held within 90 days.
“Your petitioners state that when a vacancy occurs in the office of President Article 38 (1) of the Constitution by reason of his death or resignation an election to the office of President shall be held in accordance with Article 34 within 90 days,” the petition reads.
They have stated that there was a difference or distinction between the by-election and an election and that in the case of member of Parliament or councillor dying or resigning, there was no one acting while when the President dies or resigns the Vice-President or a member of Cabinet takes over to organize presidential election.
The petitioners are also seeking an order that limitation clauses under Article 35 (1) (4) (c) and 88 (6) (a) should be struck off from the Constitution.