PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has signed a Statutory Instrument (SI) to dissolve Parliament this Friday as stipulated under Article 81 of the Zambian Constitution as the country prepares for the polls in August.
And government has maintained that the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) was misplaced to allege that the dissolution of Parliament amounted to the dissolution of Cabinet, saying the law was very clear regarding the matter as there were specifications provided for in the new Constitution on conditions under which a minister could lose his position.
Special assistant to the President for press and public relations Amos Chanda told a media briefing in Kampala yesterday that Parliament stands dissolved this Friday according to the Gazette notice which will be issued.
“I wish to confirm that President Lungu has this morning signed a Statutory Instrument in accordance with Article 81 of the constitution to dissolve Parliament on Friday 13th May, 2016. So, in line with Gazette notice that will be issued, Parliament stands dissolved as of Friday, 13th May, 2016 in line with provisions of Article 81 of the Constitution,” Mr. Chanda said.
And Mr. Chanda said LAZ’s comments on the dissolution of Cabinet had no legal backing as the Constitution was very clear over the matter and that the provisions did not need any debate because they were explicit.
“The President will be making further comment on that in due course but suffice to say that the circumstances under which ministers cease from holding office are clearly stipulated and these are resignation, mental or physical infirmity, and removal from office of the minister and when that minister has handed over office to a new minister when a new President has been elected.
“Those are the circumstances under which a minister ceases to hold office under the current Constitution and none of those circumstances have occurred as at now and we leave it at that,” he said
LAZ president Linda Kasonde has been quoted as saying only the Vice President and not Cabinet ministers will be eligible to hold office when Parliament dissolves as they will no longer qualify to hold their positions after its dissolution.
Meanwhile, President Lungu says Cabinet is not going to disband following the dissolution of Parliament because there shall be need for transitional handover after the new Government is formed.