Reflections on Zambia on New Zambia Electoral reforms
We take a break from mirroring our local elections against the US elections, as all pointer are leading to a Hilary vs Trump duel, and reflect on our neighbours, Zambia. Ahead of the polls on August 11 later this year, President Edgar Lungu signed the new constitution into law on January 5 this year. Coming with it are new electoral reforms which we reflect on today:
In Malawi the date of polling is also fixed in the Constitution as the third week of May in the fifth year. A fixed date makes planning for elections easy for the electoral commission unlike where the president is given powers to proclaim the date.
In Malawi, presidential candidates declare their running mates during nomination. The running mate assumes the vice-presidency and the President cannot fire the deputy.
However, the Malawian Constitution gives the State President powers to appoint a second vice-president if he considers it desirable in national interest to do so.
In Malawi, the vice-president should takes over and finishes the remaining part of the term if a vacancy arises. If at any time both the office of President and vice-president become vacant then cabinet is required to elect among its members an Acting President and Acting First Vice-President who should hold office for not more than sixty days, or where four years of a presidential term have expired, for the rest of that presidential term.
Malawi uses First-Past-The-Post system whereby the one who gets more votes than other candidates carries the day regardless of the percentage to the total valid votes.
In Malawi, the laws are silent on parenthood of presidential candidates but require that the presidential candidate and his running mate to be a citizen by birth or descent. For Parliamentary, the Constitution requires the candidate to be a citizen of the Republic.
These are some of the progressive reforms that Zambia has adopted this year. Going by the comparison it can be concluded that Malawi was already ahead.