By DELPHINE ZULU –
THE presidential by-election will be held on January 20, next year, Acting President Guy Scott has announced.
This follows the death of President Michael Sata on October 28 and will mark the lapse of 90 days.
This is in accordance with Article 38 (1) of the Constitution which provides that if the Office of the President becomes vacant by reason of the President’s death, an election shall be held within 90 days from the date the office became vacant.
Dr Scott expressed gratitude to the public for the maturity, love and peace exhibited during the State funeral of late President Michael Sata and hoped that the same spirit would continue during the campaigns and the presidential by-election.
The Acting President was speaking at a Press briefing at Cabinet Office in Lusaka yesterday.
Dr Scott said the Patriotic Front (PF) was ready for the by-election despite not picking a candidate to represent the party.
He said the party had structures in place to handle the election but was quick to note that it was not easy to prepare for an election in an event of the death of the President, which was not expected.
Meanwhile, the PF Central Committee will reconvene tomorrow to agree on the mode of adopting the party’s presidential candidate, Dr Scott said.
Dr Scott said he did not walk out of the meeting but that he left after it was adjourned in order to give an opportunity to candidates to file in their nominations.
“The party wants to know all those with presidential ambitions. We are a democratic party, I have always said this. We adjourned, not that I walked out. The decision to adjourn was to facilitate the filing in of nominations to give an opportunity to everybody,” Dr Scott said.
After unveiling the list, the Central Committee would go into a meeting to agree the mode of adoption, which was adjourned on Monday.
The committee’s decision to talk to aspiring candidates was aimed at coming up with one name from the list which would be floated in an event the aspiring candidates reached a consensus.
“You see we are all from one party or club, so if we try and talk to those aspiring candidates and they agree to float one name, there would be no convention because it is not sensible for people in the same club to vie for the same position, but if they refuse, then we shall go for a convention,” Dr Scott said.
The Acting President assured all aspiring candidates that no one would be excluded from filing in the nominations.