EDUCATION Minister John Phiri has now turned to the Lusaka High Court for his case against the Electoral Commission of Zambia’s alleged refusal to receive and process his nomination papers for Lundazi Central Constituency as a parliamentary candidate.
This is after the Constitutional Court threw-out his application to petition the decision by ECZ to reject his nomination papers on the basis that he was out of time for lodging in his application at the nomination centre.
Dr Phiri petitioned the Constitutional Court over the ECZ’s refusal to accept his application for nomination for Lundazi Central Constituency when he arrived late at the nomination centre.
“Your petitioner therefore prays that the refusal to receive and process nominations papers from the petitioner be declared unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and a violation of the petitioner’s rights to participate in the general election.
“Your petitioner seeks an order that the respondents be ordered and directed to receive and process nomination papers in respect of the Lundazi Central Constituency nominations,” he said.
He complained that there was no written law in the Republican Constitution that barred him from lodging in his nominations after the said 1500 hours deadline.
He said the returning officer at the nomination center deliberately refused to receive and process his nomination papers despite being at the centre from 1520hours to 2200hours.
“That I was advised that there was a scheme by the three independent candidates to cause violence and delay my nomination, and that I was advised that the political parties time table was in such a way that they will call me when the independent candidates who just resigned from the ruling PF completed filing in their nominations.
“That I am also advised by counsel that the refusal by the Returning Officer to receive and process my nomination papers based on an unwritten law or regulation contravenes the Republican Constitution,” he said. He charged that the returning officer was actually at the nomination centre all the time while even though he refused to accept the nomination papers.
And Dr Phiri said in the same district, Chasefu Constituency and Lumezi Constituency had candidates lodging in nomination papers after 15:00 hours and in Kasenengwa constituency, the same happened as the centre was closed at 2200hours.