If there’s a petition, Speaker will act as President , says Attorney General

ATTORNEY General Likando Kalaluka says the Constitution does not allow incumbent President Edgar Lungu to continue in office if his election is petitioned in court.

Kalaluka, however, clarified that the Head of State is mandated to continue in office if there is no clear winner in the first round of voting.

But the PF leadership and some supporters have condemned the statement issued by the President’s top legal advisor, saying he was inviting the opposition UPND to petition the ruling party’s possible election victory.

Kalaluka held a press briefing on Wednesday, explaining the provisions of the amended Constitution in an event of a second ballot or an election petition against a sitting Head of State.

When he was asked who would be the ‘caretaker President’ in an event of a rerun, Kalaluka explained that the Constitution only provided for the Speaker taking over if an election was petitioned.

“I think the Constitution provides that the Speaker will take over if there is a challenge in terms of the petition; if someone is challenging the election results. If it is only a re-run, the President will continue in office. The only instance when the President will not be in office according to the Constitution is where there is a challenge in the Constitutional Court. That’s what the Constitution says,” Kalaluka explained.

He also said the government had no choice but to comply with the Constitutional Court’s order for ministers to vacate office.

“I think that as the President mentioned, the government will have to obey the court order, I don’t think there’s any other way of going round it. The court has ruled, of course maybe some people may not be happy with that but when the court makes a decision, we have to abide,” Kalaluka said.

He said the winner would be determined by the majority votes.

“We have reached the end of the campaign period, what is remaining is for people to vote tomorrow [yesterday] and after that, the winner will be determined by the number of votes which will be counted in favor of whichever candidate,” said Kalaluka.

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