3 July 2014

Zambia: Supreme Court Rules MPs Can Re-Contest Seats

The Supreme Court has just ruled that former Members of Parliament from opposition Movement of Multiparty Democracy (MMD) and Eustarkio Kazunga, Lucky Mulusa and Sydney Chisanga can re-contest their Parliamentary seats after throwing out the Petitions by the ruling Patriotic Front Party. The court also ruled that former MP Charles Kakoma of United Party for National Development (UPND) can also re-contest his seat.

By implication the decisions of the Supreme Court has a bearing on the cases of Maxwell Mwale (UPND), Dora Siliya (MMD) and Hastings Sililo (UPND) who have to be allowed to re-contest their seats.

This landmark decision is attributed to the fact that the Acting Chief Justice Madam Chibesakunda, who has a record of decisions favourable to the sitting government, was asked to recuse herself from participating in the proceedings of election petitions.

Justice Chibesakunda resisted the recusal for a while until the lawyers threatened to withdraw from representing their clients.

The number of the Supreme Court bench was subsequently reduced from 7 to 9. The decisions to allow these opposition MPs to re-contest their seats were unanimous by the Supreme Court.

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