Blame PF, not UPND on constitution bill failure, says president Banda

President Rupiah Banda says it is the Patriotic Front not the UPND that should be blamed for parliament’s failure to pass the Constitutional Amendment on Tuesday.
And President Banda has refused to dissolve parliament as demanded by PF leader Michael Sata.
He said the failure will not affect the smooth-running of Government as it is being portrayed by some people he referred to as ‘political opportunists’.
He said United Party for National Development (UPND) should not be blamed because it supported the constitution-making process at the National Constitution Conference (NCC).
He said it was the Patriotic Front (PF) which has always wanted to frustrate the constitution- making process by boycotting the NCC.
This is in direct contrast with vice president George Kunda who has been issuing statements that the UPND is to blame. Kunda said the UPND has been ‘eating with both hands’ and that they wanted to include the 50 plus one clause in the amendment because they want an alliance with the MMD.
There are ongoing discussions between the MMD and UPND to form an alliance where the UPND will get the vice presidency and ministry of finance. This move is being opposed by vice president George Kunda and some ministers like Dora Silya and Peter Daka.
President Banda said the failure by Parliament to pass the Constitutional Amendment does not suggest that Zambia is going through a constitutional crisis which requires an immediate dissolution of Parliament.
He said the country will continue operating on a new constitution and Government organs will continue to operate normally.
He said the power to dissolve the Parliament is vested in the President and he will exercise that power at an appropriate time without undue influence ‘from any political quarters or individuals wishing to create unnecessary political anarchy in the nation’.
President Banda said the country will hold the Presidential and Parliamentary elections this year as per the current Constitution.

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