50+1 clause can unite opposition-Mulongoti

MIKE Mulongoti says the Government’s proposed phased apprach to the enactment of the new Constitution would enable the inclusion of the 50+1 majoritarian clause in the new Constitution which would unite the opposition political parties.
Mr Mulongoti, who is the People’s Party president, said it would not be clever for the opposition to remain fragmented and participate in the 2016 general elections with the introduction of a 50+1 clause in the new Constitution.
Mr Mulongoti said the opposition political parties would be compelled to unite should Government procceed with the proposed phased enactment of the new Constitution because the 50+1 clause would also result into a re-run if the first count of the vote would not result into the election of a majoriatarian president.
He said if the opposition political parties wanted to form Government next year, they would not be clever to get into the general elections next year as individual political parties.
He told the Daily Nation that the majoritarian clause was meant to have Zambia move from being governed by a minority president, stating that Zambians did not want to continue with the trend of having a president who was not popularly elected.
Mr Mulongoti said it would not have to take a presidential election re-run for the opposition political parties to work together, adding that time was ripe for the leaders in the opposition to start working together without forming party alliances.
He said it would be wiser for the opposition to allow Government to proceed to take the non-contentious clauses to Parliament for the onward enactment of the new Constitution so that the country could go to the 2016 general elections with a united opposition.
“As the oposition, what we have been waiting for are constitutional reforms and we need these reforms now because they would certainly compel the opposition political parties to unite.We want the constitutional reforms before 2016 general elections and it is possible. Let the Government procceed and take the non-contentious clauses such as the 50+1 clause for one to be elected president to Parliament. With the 50+1 clause, it would not be clever for individual political parties to get to the political contest as individual political parties. We will have to work together and if the PF wants to find partners, they will be free to do so,” Mr Mulongoti said.
Mr Mulongoti said President Edgar Lungu was reluctant to expeditiously take the non-contentious issues to Parliament because he was aware he would be facing a stronger opposition next year.
He said the opposition political parties should not fall intio the temptation of ganging up against the ruling party because such an act would be nothing but a marriage of convinience that would not promote democracy.

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