-The Final Draft constitution has made changes to the clauses on the qualifications of presidential candidates and the electoral system.
The new document has removed the clause that requires a presidential nominee to be born of parents who are both Zambian leaving it open for any Zambian citizen to contest the presidential seat so long the candidate holds a Grade twelve certificate and meets the other qualifications.
Chapter 98 (1) of the Final Draft Constitution has provided that a person qualifies to be nominated as a candidate for election as President if that person is a citizen by birth or descent, has been ordinarily resident in Zambia and if he is at least 35 years old.
The draft constitution further provides that a presidential nominee should be a registered voter with a minimum academic qualification of a Grade twelve certificate or its equivalent.
The current constitution in Cap 34 (3) provides that a person shall be a candidate for election as President if he is a Zambian citizen; both his parents are Zambian by birth or parentage and if he attains the age of 35 years.
The current constitution further stipulates that a presidential candidate should be qualified to be elected as a member of the National Assembly and should have been domiciled in Zambia for a period of at least twenty years.
The current constitution does not restrict any one from contesting the presidency on account of his/her academic qualifications unlike the First Draft which require one to at least hold a Grade 12 certificate.
Chapter 74 (1)of the Final Draft Constitution provides that 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 in accordance with Article 99.
The current constitution does not recognize the 50 percent +1 clause and permits a presidential candidate with the highest votes cast to be declared winner.
Chapter 34 (8) of the current constitution allows the Returning Officer to declare the candidate who receives the highest number of the total votes cast to be duly elected and declared as President.
A person elected as President under this Article shall be sworn in and assume office immediately but not later than twenty-four hours from the time of declaration after the poll.
The final Draft constitution in Article 103 however states that the President-elect shall be sworn into office on the Tuesday following the seventh day after the date of the declaration of the presidential election results, if no petition has been filed.