Thursday, March 31, 2011

UPND wanted coalition with MMD - Kunda

UPND wanted coalition with MMD - Kunda
By Patson Chilemba
Thu 31 Mar. 2011, 04:02 CAT

Vice-President George Kunda feels betrayed by UPND’s failure to support the enactment of the Constitution Amendment Bill. Vice-President Kunda revealed that UPND wanted a coalition government with MMD.

“I further wish to state that the inability of the opposition political parties namely the United Party for National Development (UPND) and the Patriotic Front (PF) to support the enactment of the Constitution Amendment Bill which was a procedural bill is a betrayal of the Zambian people,” said Vice-President Kunda.

Vice-President Kunda made the assertion yesterday when he addressed the press at his office.

“UPND wanted government to include the concept of 50 per cent + 1 and a possibility of forming a coalition government with MMD, a proposal which could not be accommodated in a procedural bill and which required consultations between parties,” he said.

Vice-President Kunda said the UPND wanted the government to concede by reinstating the 50 per cent + 1 when the voting was going on over the Constitution of Zambia Bill in Parliament.

He indicated that the government would present the bill to Parliament should the MMD be given another mandate during this year's general election.

Vice-President Kunda said the failure to enact the Constitution of Zambia Bill No. 60 of 2010, and the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill was a very unfortunate development as it deprived the nation of an opportunity to reform the governance system.

He said the Constitution could not garner the required 106 members of parliament in order to proceed to the next stage.

Vice-President Kunda said this meant that the Constitution of 1991, as amended in 1996, shall continue to apply in the nation.

“The current Constitution, by which the country is governed, still continues to have progressive provisions such as the declaration of Zambia as a Christian Nation and the provisions relating to governance and the protection of human rights,” he said.

Vice-President Kunda said the throwing out of the Bill meant that provisions such as the establishment of the Supreme and Constitutional Court and the Court of Appeal to determine disputes between state organs or state institutions and constitutionality of the bills before the National Assembly would not be enacted.

He said the Constitution would have also provided for the right to a person to defend the Constitution and to be entitled to compensation for defence of the Constitution where this resulted in injury.

Vice-President Kunda said the establishment of the Parliamentary Service Commission would have been provided for and the opportunity for Zambians to acquire dual citizenship, as well as the enhancement of representation of women, youth and persons with disabilities in Parliament through the increase in the number of members of parliament.

He said proportional representation system would have been provided for.

Vice-President Kunda said there would have been a revision of the electoral system and the principles in order to ensure greater representation of the people and increased accountability of the elected leaders.

He said despite the setback caused by the failure to enact the Constitution of Zambia Bill, the government remained committed to continuing the constitutional reform process for the benefit of all Zambians in line with democratic tenets and principles.

However, Vice-President Kunda said the bill could only be brought back for re-enactment after a period of six months as per parliamentary practice and procedure.

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