The map above (source) is useful in understanding how the balance of power might shift following NCC decision to increase the level of elected constituency MPs from 150 to 240 [the remaining 30 would be chosen through PR, with the President being able to nominate a further 10]. If the delimitation formula relies on density (as per Article 77, Constitution of Zambia 1991 (Amended in 1996), one would expect the power to shift urban area and the south [previous discussions on this here].
Monday, 26 October 2009
The politics of parliamentary seats
In fact this might explain why Pf President Michael Sata has not been pleased that the statutory delimitation exercise which was suppose to begin this year and completed next year has not started. This would certainly have altered boundaries substantially within the existing quota. With that in mind, it begs the question why the MMD has allowed additional seats (plus a PR element), since this would certainly force a new delimitation exercise, with potentially unfavourable consequences. One possibility might be that the MMD so far has been able to field candidates in every constituency. More parliamentary seats gives the opposition more territories to fight over and an extremely expensive process for individual opposition candidates. The Opposition has been quite disorganised over 150 seats, contesting 240 would require substantial improvement on their part.
One thing is clear, 2011 is going to be quite complicated in terms of the legislature. More on the new electoral system via The Post.