Suspend Political Party Bill talks - Green Party
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu should suspend the on-going consultations with Government on the draft political parties bill because its contents have a lot of issues which will have a direct effect on the conduct of the 2021 general elections, the Green Party has said.
Party president Peter Sinkamba said yesterday that his party supported President Lungu’s public declaration of his commitment to the dialogue process which will lead to a road map.
Mr. Sinkamba said in its current form and in line with the on-going consultations on the draft bill, the exercise was a parallel exercise to the proposed dialogue through the Commonwealth, a situation that would render one of the processes irrelevant if nothing was done.
He said his party felt that the Bill must be discussed in the context of the roadmap for reforms of the 2021 general elections to avoid a possibility of two different outcomes for the parallel processes between the Commonwealth dialogue and the on-going consultations on the bill.
“We call on the President to suspend the on-going consultations by his Government on the Draft Political Parties Bill. Our strong view is that the Bill must be discussed, and agreed upon, within the context of the road map of reforms for 2021 general elections so that whatever is agreed upon in relation to the conduct of those elections, is entrenched in the Political Parties Act, and binds all parties from a premise of law,
“If this approach is not adopted, we foresee a situation where two outcomes are possible: the first scenario is that the Bill may be repealed and replaced if its letter and spirit goes contrary to the outcomes of the Commonwealth dialogue. If this outcome comes to pass then the on-going parallel process may be rendered as a waste of time and public resources,” Mr. Sinkamba said.
He also noted that the proposed dialogue through the Commonwealth may be worthless if its outcomes will not culminate into a law that bind parties.
He said that there was no need to rush the enactment of the Political Parties Bill into law since there was no urgent situation that needed such a drastic move.