Zambian parliament adopts constitution amendment bill

The Zambian parliament on Friday adopted a constitution amendment bill that will culminate in the enactment of a new constitution after lawmakers debated it throughout Thursday night.

Zambia map

The lawmakers debated the 2015 Constitution Amendment Bill throughout the night and adopted it on Friday morning except for part three which is the Bill of rights and will be adopted through a referendum.

Zambia map The lawmakers voted 110 to 38 for the Constitution Amendment Bill to be read for the third time.

Among some notable clauses which were unanimously adopted include a 50 percent plus one requirement for a presidential winner, dual citizenship and a running mate clause in a presidential election.

The lawmakers also adopted a clause canceling the holding of an election in case a sitting president dies as the country’s vice-president will automatically take over.

Minister of Justice Ngosa Simbyakula dispelled speculations from some stakeholders that it was against most submissions which were Zambians had wanted to be in the final constitution, adding that core submissions that entrench democracy were still intact.

“The arguments are mere politicking and playing to the gallery. Let’s put in place that which is feasible economically. We don’t want our people to be meeting under trees. Let’s deal with issues that are at the heart of the Zambian people,” he said in winding up debate.

Stakeholders had asked the lawmakers against making any amendments to the bill.

The current constitution-making process began in November 2011 when late President Michael Sata appointed a 20-member Technical Committee to draft the new constitution.

Zambia has had four constitution review processes since independence from Britain in 1964 and analysts have said the processes have been costly ventures to the country. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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