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The Constitution of Zambia (Amendment)Bill l2015

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A summary of the proposed changes to electoral systems and citizenship in the proposed constitution of Zambia.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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The Constitution of Zambia (Amendment)Bill l2015

  1. 1. The Constitution Bill 2015 Social Accountability &You Citizenship and Elections
  2. 2. The Supreme Law Recently Zambia began undergoing a constitutional review process aimed at amending the ‘supreme law of the land.’ The process has reached its final stages and the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act 2015 was released. If passed, this bill will amend the current Constitution of Zambia 1996 and change how citizens select the people who represent them. This presentation covers some of the key changes to citizenship and the electoral process in the proposed constitution.
  3. 3. Not all parts of the draft constitution released in October 2014 shall be presented in Parliament for a vote. The omitted sections include: PART III: The Bill of Rights Article 79 which addresses how Constitutions are amended. Both sections can only be amended by referendum Let’s have a look at some key changes in the proposed bill.
  4. 4. Dual Citizenship CONSTITUTION 1996 NO. PART II, Article 9: A person shall cease to be a citizen of Zambia if that person -- (a) acquires the citizenship of a country other than Zambia by a voluntary act, other than marriage; or (b) does any act indicating that person's intention to adopt or make use of any other citizenship. CONSTITUTION BILL YES. PART IV, Article 39; (1) A citizen shall not lose citizenship by acquiring the citizenship of another country. (2) A citizen who ceased to be a citizen, before the commencement of this Constitution as a result of acquiring the citizenship of another country, shall be entitled to apply, as prescribed[…]
  5. 5. Electoral process: Presidency CONSTITUTION 1996 ‘Simple Majority’ PART IV, Article 34 [Election of President] (1) The election of the President shall be direct by universal adult suffrage and by secret ballot and shall be conducted in accordance with this Article and as may be prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament. & (8) The Returning Officer shall declare the candidate who receives the highest numbers of the total votes cast to have been duly elected as President. CONSTITUTION BILL 2015 ‘Fifty-percent plus one’ PART V, Article 47 (1) Elections to the office of President shall be conducted directly, under a majoritarian electoral system, where the winning candidate must receive more than fifty percent of the valid votes cast and in accordance with Article 101 Article 101 (2) The Returning Office shall declare the presidential candidate who receives more than fifty percent of the valid votes case during the election as President-elect.
  6. 6. Electoral process: National Assembly CONSTITUTION 1996 Up to 158 Members of Parliament PART V, Article 63: (1) The National Assembly shall consist of -- (a) one hundred and fifty elected members; (b) not more than eight nominated members; and (c) the Speaker of the National Assembly. (2) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the election of members of the National Assembly shall be direct, by universal adult suffrage and by secret ballot and shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and as may be prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament. CONSTITUTION BILL 2015 200 Members of Parliament PART V, Article 47 (2) Elections to the National Assembly shall be conducted under a mixed member representation electoral system, consisting of a first-past-the-post system and a party-list system and in accordance with Articles 68 and 69 Article 68; The National Assembly consists of one hundred and fifty-six constituency based members [and] ninety-four members selected from party lists.. Article 69; A political party shall submit to the Electoral Commission, a closed party list of persons
  7. 7. Electoral  Run-off elections: PART VII, Article 101 (3) If a the initial ballot a presidential candidate does not receive more than fifty percent of the valid votes cast, a second ballot shall be held within thirty- seven days of the initial ballot, where the only candidates shall be the presidential candidates who obtained; (a) The highest and second highest number of valid votes cast in the initial ballot or; (b) An equal number of the valid votes cast in the initial ballot, being the highest votes amongst the presidential candidates that stood for election to the office of President.  Vice-Presidential Running Mate: PART VII Article 110: There shall be a Vice-President for the Republic who shall be the running mate to a presidential candidate in the presidential election.  Members of Cabinet shall NOT be Members of Parliament: PART VII Article 116 (1) The President shall appoint a prescribed number of persons, who are not Members of Parliament but who qualify to be Members of Parliament, as Ministers, subject to ratification by National Assembly. Some other key changes in the selection of duty- bearers and policy-makers
  8. 8. Citizens  Citizens may petition Government to enact legislation PART VI; Article 88 (1) A citizen may petition the National Assembly to initiate the enactment, amendment or repeal of legislation.  Citizens have an obligation to understand the Constitution The Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill 2015 Article 45(2)(a) A citizen shall endeavor to…acquire basic understanding of this Constitution and promote its ideals and objectives.  Citizens may petition Government to merge/divide their province PART X Article 151 (5); Without prejudice to clause (1), sixty percent or more of the registered voters in a Province may petition the President to (a) merge a Province with another Province; or (b) divide a Province into tow or more Provinces There are changes to the rights and responsibilities of citizens.
  9. 9. Learn more… Learn more about the constitution by reading the full document in the SAY Library. www.say-zambia.org

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