UPND delays petitioning Lungu’s victory

HH at the National Totalling Centre. Photo: Owen Miyanza

HH at the National Totalling Centre. Photo: Owen Miyanza

The United Party for National Development (UPND) has continued to delay the filing in of their petition against the election victory of President-elect Edgar Lungu.

UPND had earlier though its Secretary General Stephen Katuka indicated that they will petition the election, but five days has elapsed without the party making any move in that direction.

Some observers believe the delay is strategic as the last day for the party to petition the court is Monday, a day before the proposed inauguration ceremony for Lungu.

If the petition is filed in successfully, the court is expected to declare Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini as acting head of state.

Meanwhile, opposition Forum for Democracy and Development spokesperson Antonio Mwanza says the petition may even take four years as it is at the discretion of the presiding judge to conclude the case.

Mwanza further says no clause mentions the time frame as to when the case may be concluded but rather the Act has only mentioned the determination of the case.

“For a moment think about when should the Constitutional Court pass judgement on the petition. The Constitution states that a petition should be HEARD within 14 days however, it does not state when the matter should be DETERMINED in other words it does not state when judgment should be passed. Hearing a case does not mean determining it. So while the petition must be heard within 14 days, depending on the behaviour of the judges, judgement might be passed after 4 years like has been the precedence in previous presidential petition,”  Mwanza said.

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