Distribution of draft constitution starts

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THE distribution of hard copies of the final draft constitution will start next Monday, ministry of Justice Permanent Secretary Patricia Jere has said.
Mrs Jere said Government has commenced the printing of the draft constitution and the report of the technical committee.
She said in a statement yesterday that insets of the final draft constitution will be made available in three daily newspapers starting tomorrow.
“Electronic copies of the final draft constitution, report of the Technical Committee on Drafting the Constitution and the Constitution of the Zambia Bill of 2014 have been circulated to institutions with a request that they be uploaded to these institutions’ websites,” Mrs Jere said.
She said electronic copies can also be obtained from the Ministry of Justice.
Mrs Jere said this is an opportunity for the public to study the final draft constitution thoroughly in order to prepare comments that they might have for submission to the ministry of Justice as a period of building consensus towards the finalisation of a people-driven constitution.
“The period for submission of comments and other related process will be announced later,” she said.
Meanwhile, the final draft constitution released last week by Government has retained contentious clauses submitted to the Technical Committee on Drafting the Zambian Constitution.
The 50 percent plus one vote as the threshold for one to be elected President, is one such clause.
Article 74 (1) of the draft constitution states: “Elections to the office of President shall be conducted directly, under a majoritarian electoral system where the winning candidate must receive more than fifty percent of the valid votes cast, and in accordance with Article 99.”
The article states that if a presidential candidate does not win a majority vote in a one-off election, then a re-run will be conducted to achieve the 50 percent plus one vote.
Another contentious matter is the running mate clause in article 108 (1).
It states: “There shall be a Vice-President for the Republic who shall be the running mate to a presidential candidate in a presidential election.”
The draft constitution states that an election to the office of Vice-President shall be conducted at the same time as that of an election to the office of President so that a vote cast for a presidential candidate is a vote cast for the running mate, and if the presidential candidate is elected, the running mate shall be considered to have been elected.

 

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