NCC fails to agree on 50+1

THE National Constitutional Conference (NCC) delegates yesterday failed to reach a consensus on the 50-per cent plus one threshold for the election of the Republican President.
NCC chairperson Chifumu Banda said after calling for a division in which 131 delegates rose in support of the proposal that the issue would have to be put to a vote and deferred it.
The decision to subject the issue to a vote followed a heated debate with some delegates supporting the proposal while others were against.
The officials from the Electoral Commission of Zambia will have to be called in to conduct the elections on the matter either today or some other time.
Meanwhile, the NCC adopted the proposal by the conference’s democratic and governance committee that there should be at least 30 per cent of gender representation in elective public offices.
The NCC adopted the recommendations when debating Article 94 of the Draft Constitution, which stipulates that the electoral system shall ensure a representation of each gender, is not less than 30 per cent of the total number of seats in the National Assembly, district council or other public elective bodies.
Contributing to the debate, delegate Pixie Yangailo, representing the Human Rights Commission, said Zambia had made minimal progress in female representation at governance level.
As such, Ms Yangailo said there was need for the nation to stop being rhetoric and ensure that it increased gender representation in elective public offices.
Ms Yangailo proposed that in fact, the percentage should be increased to 50 per cent but other delegates settled for 30 per cent.
But another delegate, Martin Mwale said as mush as he was in support of the recommendations by the committee, the positions should be held because a particular individual was competent to be the office holder and not based on gender.


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