Parliament Says Will Proceed To Effect The Order of ConCourt

Gotani-Hara: We will abide by the court orders Gotani-Hara: We will abide by the court orders pic by Madalitso Phiri

Speaker of Parliament, Catherine Gotani Hara, says in the house which begins to sit Monday, parliamentarians shall proceed to implement the orders of Constitutional Court in respect of the ruling on the presidential election case which annulled the 2019 election and called for a fresh one.

Gotani-Hara observed that “the nature of orders of the Court are such that they must be obeyed and implemented unless there is a stay order, or the Court varies or sets aside the order” and so far, there has not been any changes.

Among the numerous orders of the court, the Constitutional Court make specific ones to parliament with a timeframe for execution.

She summarized the orders as follows:

* Parliament should take appropriate legislative measures to ensure that:

*the significance of the certainty which is brought by the fixing of the date of the general election under section 67 (1) of the Constitution is preserved; and

*whoever is elected President of the Republic during the fresh elections, is allowed to serve the constitutionally prescribed five-year term.

*The Public Appointments Committee of the National Assembly should, in terms of section 75 (4) of the Constitution, inquire into the capacity and competence of the Electoral Commission’s current commissioners, to oversee the conduct of the fresh elections;

*Parliament should take necessary amendment action in respect of section 75 (1) of the Constitution so that the appointing authority of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission is clearly provided for; and

*Parliament must, within 21 days from the date of the ruling make appropriate provisions for the holding of the Presidential run off in the event that no single candidate secures the constitutional majority under section 80 (2) of the Constitution as interpreted by the court.

The speaker said parliament has since made arrangements for the Legal Affairs Committee as well as the public Appointments Committee to come up with necessary reports and draft Bills to put into effect the orders.

Parliament, she said, is also liaising with the Office of the Solicitor General on the possibility of complementing each other in coming up with such Bills to be passed by the House during the forthcoming 3rd Meeting of Parliament in the 48th Session.

“Through the Business Committee which met on 5th February, 2020, space has been provided for the Bills and committee reports to be considered and passed/adopted by the House before 24th February, 2020 when the 21 days period ordered by the Constitutional Court comes to an end,” she said.

Gotani-Hara says her office will, in the 21 days of the work on her table, constantly update the people on developments through the media as Parliament is aware that the matter has drawn a lot of interest.

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Last modified on Thursday, 06/02/2020

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