Grant Coalition reiterates demand for new constitution

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The Grand Coalition on the campaign for a people driven constitution has reiterated its demand for a new people driven constitution and the importance for all presidential candidates to sign a social contract with the people.

Coalition Chairperson Leonard Chiti said this was so because in 50 years of Zambia’s independence, attempts to have a new constitution have been elusive despite spending billions of Kwacha on the various processes.

Father Chiti said the pledge will bind any presidential candidate who wins the January 20, 2015 election to enact a new constitution by 2016.

He said failure to sign the social contract, the candidate will be held accountable by the citizens and face electoral sanctions in the 2016 tripartite elections.

He said during a media briefing in Lusaka today that since the presidential candidates’ pledge campaign was launched in November 2014, a total of five candidates have signed the it, four are yet to sign while two have refused to sign the pledge.

Fr. Chiti also disclosed that the coalition has resolved to launch a “no constitution, no vote campaign” ahead of the January 20, 2015 presidential elections against presidential candidates who have refused to sign the presidential candidates’ pledge.

He said the coalition remains undeterred in its resolve to push for the adoption of a new constitution through a referendum and enactment only by the National Assembly by 2016.

And Fr. Chiti further said the coalition was disturbed by incidents of electoral violence that have characterised the electoral campaigns as the country approaches the election.

He demanded that political parties exercise leadership by reigning in their cadres and further called on the Zambia Police Service to professionally deal with the perpetrators of violence.

The Grand Coalition chairperson said the continued electoral violence ahead of the January 20, 2015 presidential election has the potential to scare away voters thereby promoting voter apathy.

He stated that unless the condemnation of violence is translated into action by political party leaders, the violence is unlikely to end.

Fr. Chiti further appealed for peace and unity ahead of the presidential election.