Sus­pend Po­lit­i­cal Party Bill talks - Green Party

Daily Nation Newspaper - - HOME NEWS - By BEN­NIE MUNDANDO

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.

Peter Sinkamba

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