8 January 2016

Zambia: VP Assumes Special Position

A Zambian vice-president will for the first time this year be elected as a running mate to the Presidential candidate in the general elections as prescribed following amendments to the Constitution.

According to clause 110 of part seven of the Constitution, the vice-president would be elected as a running mate to the presidential candidate.

"The qualifications and disqualifications applying to a presidential candidate apply to the person selected by the presidential candidate to be a running mate.

"An election to the office of the vice-president shall be conducted at the same time as that of an election to the office of the President so that a vote cast for a presidential candidate is a vote cast for the running mate," the law states.

The Constitution states that if the presidential candidate is elected, the running mate would also be considered voted for.

"A vice-president-elect shall be sworn into office by the Chief Justice or, in the absence of the Chief Justice, the deputy Chief Justice.

"The vice-president shall assume office on the same day that the President assumes office," the Constitution reads.

The elected vice-president will serve a term of five years in office, commencing at the time of swearing-in until the next date when a President-elect is sworn into office.

A person who has twice held the office of vice-president shall not be selected as a running mate.

The office of the vice-president becomes vacant if the vice-president dies, resigns by notice in writing to the President, ceases to hold office under Article 81, 107 or 108; or assumes the office of the President.

The law further states, where a vacancy occurs in the office of the vice-president, except as provided under Article 81, the President shall appoint another person to be vice-president.

Thus, the National Assembly shall, by a resolution supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of the members of Parliament (MPs), approve the appointment of that person as vice-president.

"The person who assumes office as vice-president, in accordance with clause five, shall serve for the unexpired term of office and be deemed for the purposes of clause three.

"To have served a full term as vice-president if, at the date on which the vice-president assumed office, more than three years remain before the date of the next general election; or not to have served a term of office as vice president if, at the date which the vice-president assumed office, less than three years remain before the date of the next general election".

It further indicates that a person who assumes the office as vice-president, in accordance with clause five, shall not assume the office of President in the event of a vacancy occurring in the office of the President.

Among the functions of the vice-president, the Constitution provides that the office bearer should be answerable to the Head of State in the performance of functions.

The vice-president shall perform the functions that are assigned by the President and executive functions during the periods specified in the Constitution and assume the office of President as specified in Article 106(5).

"The vice-president shall attend the sittings of the National Assembly when requested to do so by the Speaker, or for a particular purpose, upon notice of the Speaker.

"The vice-president shall, while in attendance in the National Assembly, take part in the proceedings of the National Assembly but shall not vote," reads the law.


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