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Tuesday, 26 April 2011

MMD Manifesto: Legal and Constitutional Reforms

The MMD has no specific policy section on “legal and constitutional” reforms. However, it has various small sections that mildly touch on the issues. Effort is therefore made to harness as much as possible from these areas.

What are the main specific policy proposals?

Section 4.1 of the MMD manifesto discusses its “governance and democracy”. That section mainly focuses on what it is has achieved. In particular it notes that it has drafted the Constitution of Zambia Amendment Bill 2010. Strangely though there's no explanation of what it plans to do in light of the failed process. 

Section 7.1 has a general commitment that “the MMD government will ensure that the process started in 2007 to review and enact a new constitution and reform the electoral system is brought to its logical conclusion. This will culminate in the enactment of a new constitution, necessary supportive legal and institutional frameworks and ensuring that elections continue to be held in a free and fair atmosphere”. 

The entire manifesto no single mention of the words “justice” or “legal” or “prisons” or “courts”. The MMD simply has no specific proposals in these areas. It is not something evidently it cares about. The idea of justice to them appears to be just that - an idea. 

What is the rationale?

No problems have been identified.

What is our main assessment?

The MMD has a general commitment to continue to take forward the constitutional process. It seems like the manifesto has not kept up with development on the grounds. It does not acknowledge the failure of the process. The electorate therefore cannot be sure of what MMD intends to in this area. It has no commitments. Right now MMD is not pledging anything that you could hold them to account. 

In the area of justice it is worse. No policy diagnosis. No commitments. Just Poor. A shocking spectacle.

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Zambian Economist is currently reviewing manifestos of leading political parties in Zambia. All posts in this ongoing review can be found at Manifesto Analysis.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Chola,

    Just wanted to commend you for the analysis you are making on the two available manifestos - they are very informative thanks and keep it up. I just wish they could be published in our mainstream media in Zambia to enable more people reflect on the process of how we put a government into power. The challenge we have is that many people are still voting on personalities rather than party programmes - reason for which I think the MMD dont seem to even care what to put in their development agenda. I am suspect they are thinking, 'people who vote dont read these documents so just say something to show we are a party' - so they have not put any creativity to their work. It will take your approach to change that mentality! Many thanks

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