Delegates vote to limit tenure for MPs to two five-year terms

Delegates at the on-going National Constitution Convention have unanimously voted to limit the tenure of Members of Parliament to two five-year terms only.

And delegates have also approved a clause under the article that provides for the tenure of office and vacation of Members of Parliament other than Independent candidates to stop them from crossing the floor in order to prevent unnecessary by-elections.

Delegates approved the amendment by the thematic group on article 139 (1) to provide that there shall be no crossing of the house by Members of Parliament and that the maximum number of terms in office should be limited to two terms.

One delegate, Maxwell Luchile noted that Zambia was vast and had many people who also want to be MPs hence the need to limit the terms of MPs in office to allow others to serve in that capacity.

Another delegate Gerald Mutelo stated that democracy requires all people to participate and not allow the same people to monopolize the parliamentary seats.

Members of Parliament present at the convention seem to have been shocked at the pace the debate had progressed to the point of passing the motion as they remained glued to their seats instead of defending their positions.

Meanwhile, the national convention has stripped off the presidential powers to nominate members of parliament after the house agreed to delete article 135 of the draft constitution.

Article 135 was replaced with the provisions of article 143 of the Final Draft Constitution of the republic of Zambia and amend the said article to provide that the president no longer nominates MPs.

In their justification, the thematic group told the house that the principle behind the article is to have mixed member proportional representation to cater for Gender, Youths, and the disabled.

And in article 136 of the First Draft Constitution, the National Assembly shall consist of two hundred representatives holding seats for the multi-member constituencies plus the speaker, the first and second deputy speakers.

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