President Michael Sata has dismissed assertions that the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) government was inducing parliamentary by-elections in the country.
President Sata, who described the claims as idle and trivial speculation, urged those criticising the concept of by-elections to be clear-headed and honest when expressing their views.
The President said this in a statement made available to ZANIS by his Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations George Chellah.
“Our constitution is clear on the circumstances and procedures under which parliamentary or local government by-elections are permissible. And all registered political parties are at liberty to exercise their constitutional right to participate in any subsequent contest that might arise,” he said.
Mr. Sata further said his administration, which he said was devoted to the rule of law, considered the debate on democracy and its price, mischievous and time-wasting.
“As far as we are concerned, we have not violated any law and we see no grounds for such blatant pretence from the critics of this legally recognized act,” President Sata said.
He wondered what critics of by-elections wanted the government to do in situations where an elected representative dies, crosses over, resigns or loses an election petition in court.
“These are straight forward matters and we should not play to the gallery on such essential affairs of governance. As leaders we should embrace sincerity and constantly endeavour to provide direction in the search for viable remedies to the numerous challenges facing our people,” Mr. Sata said.
He said the PF government would remain steadfast to the concept of inclusivity and open its doors to all stakeholders as it seeks to address social and economic challenges so as to create a better Zambia for all in line with the PF party manifesto.
President Sata reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to deepening democracy, equality and respect for the will of the Zambian people.
He thanked all political stakeholders who have chosen the interests of the Zambian people ahead of meaningless partisanship.