Find us on Google+

Sunday, 18 April 2010

An early election?

Ng'andu Magande on the prospect of an early election :

“But that is why I am saying it is not fair because he is the one who decides with the Electoral Commission of Zambia on what date they elections are supposed to be. And I think that’s why we should put it in the Republican Constitution so that everybody knows when to start campaigning.....And he [President Banda] said ‘I am going to tour the whole country, every district’. So are we saying he has already started now, and this is his touring of all the districts? But then when are the general elections? We would like to know so that those who want to stand either as President of the Republic or as members of parliament, as councillors can also start campaigning"
I have always wondered  about this issue. There's nothing that I can see in the Constitution that stops the President from dissolving Parliament and going to the polls now to seek a new mandate. The question is
whether the incentives are sufficiently strong. The MMD MPs would certainly not want to risk losing their gratuities! A full sitting appears necessary to extract as much rent as possible from the tax payer. That of course may be less of an issue if they thought they were better placed to return to power. The last time Zambia went to the polls President Banda was only by just over 20k votes above the closet challenger. If this swing to the Opposition was repeated in Parliamentary elections, it could be disastrous for MMD.  Separately, President Banda has to contend with with internal politics of the MMD . An early election would create new enemies from within the party, beyond the standard ones.  On the other hand, the PF-UPND pact has not fully organised. An early election would throw them into chaos as they would have to quickly resolve who would stand with little time to sell that person to the public, at both Parliamentary and presidential levels! A balancing of these issues make a 2010 election unlikely, but an early 2011 should not be ruled out by the Opposition. Indeed, if such was to happen no one should blame President Banda for exercising his constitutional right.

1 comment:

  1. Cho,
    Calling for early an tripartite election is not an issue of doing so needlessly for the sake of appeasing any Tom and mary that thinks so or indeed a matter of comedy. A democratically elected constitutional seating Government can only do so on on valid constitutional and political crisis which is no closer to Zambia unless you walk me through them.


All contributors should follow the basic principles of a productive dialogue: communicate their perspective, ask, comment, respond,and share information and knowledge, but do all this with a positive approach.

This is a friendly website. However, if you feel compelled to comment 'anonymously', you are strongly encouraged to state your location / adopt a unique nick name so that other commentators/readers do not confuse your comments with other individuals also commenting anonymously.