By Aaron Chiyanzo
THE Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has written to Cabinet, through Minister of Justice Given Lubinda, proposing that any electoral and political party reforms must be done subsequent to removal of ambiguities and thorough amendments to the Constitution.
YALI president, Andrew Ntewewe, who requested Cabinet and Government to consider re-opening public submissions on amendments to the Constitution, said tabling electoral reforms and the political party Bill in Parliament before effecting amendments to the Constitution would trigger a process where Government and Parliament would unnecessarily be repeating itself in its efforts to make changes.
Mr. Ntewewe said Government could afford to temporarily hold on tabling of the Political Parties Bill until amendments were done to Article 60 of the Constitution, which may have a significant bearing on the Bill itself.
“People will recall that YALI had gone to court in 2016 over some matters concerning implementation of Article 60 and the court’s judgement raised a number of key issues that cannot be overlooked in the operationalisation of Article 60,” he said.
Mr. Ntewewe said amendments to the Electoral Act were premised on having a Constitution, which was clear of ambiguities and agreed upon by stakeholders and the general citizenry.
“The effectiveness of the any amendments to the country’s electoral law can only be guaranteed if amendments to the Constitution of Zambia take precedence over amendments or enactment of new Acts of Parliament that operationalise the Constitution,” he said.