YOUNG African Leaders Initiative (YALI) says statistics of last year’s presidential election with two top parties getting above 40 percent votes is an indication that the 50 percent plus one vote threshold is attainable.
Reacting to concerns by various stakeholders and the general public stating that the threshold was impossible due to many political parties, YALI president Andrew Ntewewe said it was possible to have a winner of the election without a re-run as many feared.
He said last year’s Presidential election which had the top two contenders attaining 48 percent and 46 percent was an indication that the country would have a presidential re-run.
Mr Ntewewe said the constitution was clear about the requirements of one planning to run as President by providing other provisions aside the 50 percent plus one vote.
He said the requirement of the presidential candidates to provide 1000 supporters countrywide was a sieve to eliminate all other parties. “The constitution provides other provisions apart from 50%+1, it provides the 1000 supporters requirement where a political party which does not command adequate popularity may not be able to gather the 1000 supporters,” he explained.
Mr Ntewewe also explained that the running mate issue was one of the issues that would ensure that the winning candidate acquired the 50 percent plus One vote.
“The other time we were looking at the constitution, we had other people who were vying for the presidency without knowing who their vice president would be, now it’s a challenge because the presidential candidate doesn’t have to do it alone, wake up and say I am going to contest an election without seeking someone who he is going to run with,” he explained.
Mr Ntewewe said this year’s election period would be full-fledged with MP’s campaigning for their candidates hence improving the voter turnout.
He said the 50 percent plus one vote clause was the cry of the Zambian people to avoid being led by presidents brought to power by a small number of people.
“What Zambians are trying to avoid is being led by a minority leader, as there has been times when a presidential candidate has gathered less than 30 percent of the total votes cast, an example is that of Levy Mwanawasa who won the 2001 elections by 29%of the votes , meaning that 71% of Zambians did not like him as president,” the YALI leader said.