50 per cent plus one clause approved in Luapula

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The Constitution Convention in Luapula Province has approved the 50 per cent plus 1 clause for election to the office of the President.

The decision was, however, reached after a heated debate from among the delegates.

The clause was taken to a first vote which saw 92 delegates in favour and 16 against the clause out of the 140 delegates present.

It was further ruled that debate on the matter continues as the delegates did not seem to reach a consensus even after a vote was conducted.

 After a second debate, Chairperson for the Convention, Katele Kalumba, took the clause to a second vote which saw 91 delegates in support and 15 delegates against the clause.

Among the delegates in favour of adopting the clause included Former Bahati Member of Parliament, Besa Chimbaka, who noted that having a president who is voted by the majority will promote more harmony among the people of Zambia and the country will continue enjoying the peace.

Able Chilukuta, another delegate in support of the clause, said an executive president is supposed to be voted in office by the majority.

Mr Chilukuta observed that the 50 per cent plus 1 will also help to unite the country and do away with issues of tribalism.

However, Mwense Member of Parliament, David Mabumba, who is among other delegates, opposed the clause, noting that it is important to have the people sensitised on the importance of voting as compared to introducing the 50 per cent plus 1 clause.

Mr Mabumba argued that the clause does not guarantee that the president can be voted across the country but that even the simple minority can vote a president into office.

The 50 per cent plus 1 clause is contained in Article 75 of the First Draft Constitution which states that elections to the office of president shall be conducted directly on the basis of a majoritarian system where the winning candidate must receive not less than 50 per cent plus one vote of the valid votes cast and in accordance with Article 99.