Lawyer questions PF’s new law on electing MPs

Lawyer questions PF’s new law on electing MPs

 

By Elias Munshya

Bill 10 – The Constitution of Zambia Amendment Act 2019 proposes to abolish Zambia’s current system of electing parliament to a system which the Bill is calling the “Mixed Member Electoral System”.

What is more serious #Bakwetu is that apart from having the terms “Mixed Member Electoral System”, the proposed Bill does not define what that means and neither does it provide for how this system is going to practically work. If it is going to be an MMES, how many constituencies will be there? How many proportional seats are going to be created? Why shouldn’t this information be outlined in the Supreme law of the land itself?

Zambia has a written constitution. It is a fundamental character of written constitutions that they outline composition, responsibilities, powers and limits of each of the branches of government. You cannot have a constitution that does not clearly define how the People will create their parliament. Bill 10 will abolish Articles 69, 70, 71, and 72 of the Constitution of Zambia and replace all those articles with the terms, “as prescribed”. “As prescribed” can be an empty term that simply means that parliament will enact subsidiary legislation to fill in the blanks. How can the PF Government even think that the composition of parliament should be left to the subsidiary statutes and not be outlined in the supreme law of the land?

We are still working on a comprehensive response to the Constitution of Zambia Amendment Act 2019. We will post our comprehensive statement later on eliasmunshya.org.

 

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