Citizen Forum demands 51 percent majority president

The Citizens Forum (CF), a civil society pressure group in Zambia, has said it’s members will not accept the country going to the next presidential elections without a 50 plus one majority clause enshrined in the new constitution.

CF Executive Secretary Simon Kabanda told journalists on Sunday in Lusaka that Zambians have been waiting for a long time to have a majority president and would not allow anyone to cheat them of their expectations.

His comments come as the National Constitution Commission (NCC) which has been sitting to finalise the country’s constitution indicated that delegates could not agree on the 50 plus one percent requirement.

The NCC is made up of more than 500 delegates from different interest groups who were appointed by the government to review a draft constitution that was drawn up after members of the public made their submissions.

Among the overwhelming demands from the public submissions included a demand that the presidential candidates only be elected if they obtain 50 plus 1 percent of the votes cast.

The current system in place allows for a minority president to take office as the candidate with the highest number of votes, regardless of the percentage of votes he gets to take office.

The NCC, who are mainly sympathisers of the ruling party have been attempting to remove the demand from the public in their deliberations.

But Kabanda, whose organisation represents a coalition of civil society groups said Zambians would not allow the NCC to hijack the constitution making process.

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