THE PETAUKE Central Constituency elections must be canceled and fresh nominations called immediately following the withdrawal of an independent candidate in the 2016 Race to Manda Hill, says UPND secretary general Stephen Katuka.
This is in a matter in which the Mr Katuka filed a petition before the Constitutional Court to compel the ECZ to effect provisions in the amended Constitution and cancel the Petauke Central constituency elections after Josab Changa’s withdrawal from the race. Mr Katuka said as a result of the withdrawal, ECZ should immediately cancel the election and call for fresh nominations within 30 days.
“Despite the respondent (ECZ) having been notified and made aware of Mr Josab Changa’s withdrawal front the election, the respondent has neglected or refused to cancel the election and call for the filing of fresh nominations. “On 1st July, 2016, the petitioner’s advocates herein also notified the respondents of the provisions of Article 52(6) o the Constitution of Zambia and the requirement to cancel elections where a candidate withdraws, dies or is disqualified before the election date,” Mr Katuka said.
He explained that as a result of the withdrawal, the elections ought to be cancelled and fresh nominations be filed by eligible candidates for elections to be held within 30 days.
The UPND have since requested the Constitutional Court to declare the elections cancelled following the withdrawal of Mr Changa, and call for fresh nominations for an election to be held in 30 days of such filing.
Five parliamentary candidates successfully filed in their nominations on or before the 31st of May, 2016, the ECZ official closing date for nominations, including UPND’s Mike Tembo, UNIP’s Ignasio A.S Phiri, Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) Abel Phiri, Independents Emmanuel Banda and Mr Changa, and the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) Dora Siliya.