The PF is this afternoon expected to defer the second reading of the controversial constitutional amendment bill number 10 of 2019 to March 2020 for lack of enough numbers in the House which would ultimately lead to its defeat if brought.
According to sources within the Executive, most PF members of parliament are not in the House as they are attending Parliamentary and Executive functions out of the country.
The source said the PF realised with yesterday’s walk out by the majority opposition and independents that they don’t have the right numbers hence the likely decision to defer to the next legislative meeting which runs from a date in February to a date in March, 2020.
“The situation is tricky for the PF and in trying to save face, the Executive will cause to bring to the House the Report of the Select Committee for reading and possible public comments. Members of parliament are expected to debate the report and vote to adopt the report of the select committee. Any attempts to put the Bill to a vote will be suicidal for the PF. The nation must not even be surprised should the Bill be withdrawn”, said the Source.
The PF’s decision to defer is aimed at engaging and buying off some UPND and independent MPs that have so far proven elusive and determined to ensure that the Bill is defeated at second reading.
About 8 PF members of parliament including Justice Minister Given Lubinda and Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini are out of station on official Executive and Legislative duties.
UPND, NDC and some Independent lawmakers yesterday stormed out of the House after acting Justice Minister Stephen Kampyongo sought leave of the House to restore the constitutional amendment bill onto the Order Paper leaving only 97 members to decide in the procedural voting process that required only a simple majority.