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AG claims Lungu hasn’t violated Constitution by filling nomination for election a third time

ATTORNEY General Likando Kalaluka says President Edgar Lungu has not violated the Constitution by filing in his nomination papers to contest for the third time in the August 12 general elections, after holding the said office twice.

This is in a matter in which the Legal Resources Foundation Limited, academician Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa and Chapter One Foundation Limited have petitioned President Lungu for abrogating the law by filing in his nomination papers as the PF presidential candidate for this year’s elections after being sworn into office as President twice.

The Legal Resources Foundation, Dr Sishuwa and Chapter One are seeking a declaration that President Lungu, having been elected, sworn and held office twice is not eligible for nomination and for election as president in the August 12 general elections.

They want a declaration that President Lungu’s nomination for election to the office of President in this year’s election contravenes Article 106(3) of the Constitution and the said nomination is null and void.

The petitioners are further seeking an order of certiorari that the nomination papers filed by President Lungu with the returning officer of the Electoral Commission of Zambia and all documents in support of his nomination for the election of the office of President in this year’s elections be removed forthwith from the Constitutional Court for purposes of quashing.

Their contention is that the Head of State had been sworn into office twice because he was not a vice-president of the country when he concluded late president Michael Sata’s term following the latter’s death as ruled by the Constitutional Court in the Dan Pule case.

In a combined answer to the petitioners’ petition, Kalaluka said the petitions were an abuse of court process as they seek to re-litigate the eligibility of President Lungu to stand as President in the August 12, 2021 general elections.

He said some issues raised in the petitions had already been determined by the court in the Pule case and Bampi Kapalasa and Joseph Busenga case.

“In line with the court’s findings on the interpretation of Article 106(3) of the Constitution in the two cases, there is no contravention of the Constitution in the nomination of President Lungu to contest as president in the forthcoming general elections slated for August 12, 2021,” Kalaluka said.

Kalaluka stated that the decisions of the court were final and could not be appealed against nor re-litigated.

He argued that the petitioners were not entitled to the reliefs prayed for.

And in a notice of motion to raise preliminary issue, Kalaluka is seeking a determination on whether or not the substance of the alleged contravention of Article 107(3) of the Constitution is a re-litigation of matters the court had already pronounced itself upon and is an abuse of court process and should be dismissed with costs.

In his skeleton arguments in support of notice of motion to raise preliminary issue, Kalaluka argued that matters in relation to President Lungu’s eligibility are fit to be determined at a preliminary stage as it would be demonstrated that the claims sought were being re-litigated before court.

The Attorney General claimed the preliminary issue raised is competently before court.

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