By Francis Maingaila
(08-04-18) – Justice Minister Given Lubinda has clarified that the planned enactment of the Political Party Act is not intended to bar individuals whose names has appeared many times on the ballot paper but to promote and improve the practice of democracy, including bringing sanity on the political arena in Zambia.
Lubinda told journalists at the PF Interactive Forum on Sunday that the enactment of the political party bill will compel leaders vying for the office of the president to seek mandate from their parties.
Contrary to claims by some sections of society in Zambia that the Act is intended to bar political opponents, Lubinda clarified that the Act intend to bring sanity on the political arena in Zambia.
“Besides regulating the conduct of political parties activities, the Act will ensure intra party democracy which seeks to promote democratically elected leaders.”
He added that the Act will also ensure that only democratically elected leaders as provided by the Act will be allowed to run for the office of the president.
“The bill therefore intended not only to maintain but also promote intra part democracy.”
He also explained that it is not the intention of the Political Party Act to bar leaders who have unsuccessfully attempted to run for the office of the president more than once but to subject leaders to internal democracy.
It was the considered view for Lubinda that the sponsoring Political Parties will have to fulfill the conditions in the Political Party Act before fielding a candidate.
He suggested political Party Act will ensure that political parties fulfill the principles of democracy before allowed to field a candidate.
He regretted that in the past some party leaders have imposed themselves as candidates on account that the parties they have money to sponsors the parties.
“Through sponsorship, these leaders have transformed political parties into personal to holder property.”
According to Lubinda there are leaders in active political parties that perpetually want to lead Zambia without seeking mandate from their parties.
He said this conduct violates the provisions of the Act and such leaders risk barred from taking part in an election