-Delegates vote to limit tenure for MPs

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Delegates vote to limit tenure for  MPs

Lusaka, April 16, 2013, ZANIS………..Delegates at the on-going National

Constitution Convention have unanimously voted to limit the tenure of

Members of Parliament to two five-year  terms only.

And delegates have also approved a clause under the article that

provides for the tenure of office and vacation of Members of

Parliament other than Independent candidates to stop them  from crossing the

floor in order to prevent unnecessary by-elections.


Delegates approved the amendment by the thematic group on article 139

(1) to provide that there shall be no crossing of the house by Members

of Parliament and that the maximum number of terms in office should be

limited to two terms.


One delegate, Maxwell Luchile noted that Zambia was vast and had many

people who also want to be MPs hence the need to limit the terms of

MPs in office to allow others to serve in that capacity.


Another delegate Gerald Mutelo stated that democracy requires all people to

participate and not allow the same people to monopolize the parliamentary



Members of Parliament present at the convention seem to have been

shocked at the pace the debate had progressed to the point of passing

the motion as they remained glued to their seats instead of defending

their positions.


Meanwhile, the national convention has stripped off the presidential

powers to nominate members of parliament after the house agreed to

delete article 135 of the draft constitution .


Article 135 was replaced with the provisions of article 143 of the Final Draft Constitution of the

republic of Zambia and amend the said article to provide that the

president no longer nominates MPs.


In their justification, the thematic group told the house that the

principle behind the article is to have mixed member proportional

representation to cater for Gender, Youths, and the disabled.


And in article 136 of the First Draft Constitution, the National

Assembly shall consist of two hundred representatives holding seats

for the multi-member constituencies plus the speaker,  the first

and second deputy speakers.