Electoral Commission rejects changes to constitution

Electoral Commission rejects changes to constitution

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has objected to the proposed clause in the Constitution Amendment Bill No.10 of a coalition government.

ECZ chief electoral officer Patrick Nshindano says the clause, when admitted in the Constitution, has potential to cause political instability in an event a partner decides to pull out from the agreement after forming government.

The Bank or Zambia on Wednesday also opposed PF’ manoeuvres to remove parliamentary oversight on acquiring more public debt.

The PF regime proposed constitutional changes in August to remove lawmakers’ right to approve new government loans and the ratification of international treaties – triggering an outcry from rights and opposition groups.

The government has said the changes are needed to get loans and treaties through when parliament is in recess. Opposition politicians have accused President Edgar Lungu of trying to crack down on dissent – a charge dismissed by the government.

“It is our considered view that National Assembly oversight is critical over these important public functions in a democratic dispensation like ours,” the Bank of Zambia said in a written submission to parliament released on Wednesday.

A parliamentary committee is receiving submissions on the proposed constitutional amendments before presenting a report to the full assembly for debate but so far everyone who has submitted is against the changes.

The government requires a two-thirds majority in parliament to pass the amendments. No date has been set for a vote.

The Law Association of Zambia has also taken the matter to the constitutional court seeking to have the draft law withdrawn.

The changes are being spearheaded by Justice Minister Given Lubinda who has his own hidden agenda

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