FODEP appeals to President Lungu not to assent to constitution bill

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The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has called on President Edgar Lungu not to assent to the adopted Constitution Bill passed by Parliament until all concerned parties have agreed on the best way forward.

Addressing journalists at media briefing in Lusaka today, FODEP President Shephered Chilombe says this is to appreciate the
recommendations by the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs to withdraw the Bill from Parliament to allow further consultations.

Mr. Chilombe says in view of the remaining time before the country holds tripartite elections, there is limited time to make meaningful changes to the electoral laws to accommodate the electoral changes caused by some clauses in the amended constitution.

He has also noted that without clear guidance from the President, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) will remain in limbo and fail to effectively guide the nation on the electoral process ahead of the 2016 elections.

Mr. Chilombe points out that the ECZ has not categorically stated whether a national referendum will be part of the 2016 elections and whether or not the date in the amended constitution is what will be followed to hold the elections.

He states that the product of a parliamentary route has left the nation deeply fractured with some individuals and groups of individuals petitioning the President not to assent to the Constitution Bill into Law.

And the FODEP President has observed that the Public Order Act has been severely abused and misapplied by the police in the ending year 2015.

Mr. Chilombe says the police have implemented this piece of legislation towards preserving the rights of the ruling elite at the expense of other citizens.

QFN

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