President Edgar Lungu wins eligibility case

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The Constitutional Court has declared that President Edgar Lungu is eligible to contest the August 12 General Elections.

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One of judges, however, has held a different view from the rest.

Delivering the abridged majority judgment, judge Anne Sitali declared that President Lungu was entitled to contest the elections as he has not twice held office.

She said Article 106 does not bar President Lungu from participating in the election this year.

“The first respondent’s nomination is valid and he is entitled to stand for election on August 12, 2021.

The petitions have no merit and each party to bear own costs,” Judge Sitali said.

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However, one of the Constitutional Court judges, Professor Margaret Munalula, indicated that she had a dissenting judgment which she will deliver on June 30.

Legal Resources Foundation (LRF), Chapter One Foundation and University of Zambia (UNZA) researcher and lecturer Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa, through their lawyers John Sangwa and Linda Kasonde, argued that President Lungu already held office as President twice and that he was therefore, not eligible to stand in the forthcoming elections.

President Lungu was represented by Bonaventure Mutale, Eric Silwamba, Joseph Jalasi, Sakwiba Sikota and Lubinda Linyama while Attorney General Likando Kalaluka appeared for the State.

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The ConCourt judgment brings to a close a constitutional matter that prohibits a person who has twice held office to contest a third time and possibly hold office a third time.

President Lungu first held office in 2015 when he was elected to finish Michael Sata’s term and was then declared winner of the 2016 presidential election that was challenged by Hakainde Hichilema.

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