Thursday, 9 October 2014

Hichilema Calls For Referendum Before 2016

Hakainde Hichilema
By Paul Shalala

Opposition UPND President Hakainde Hichilema has directed his Members of Parliament to push for a new legal framework that will guarantee  a referendum as an avenue through which the new constitution will be adopted.

Mr Hichilema says a legal framework is the sure way in which the wishes and aspirations of the Zambian people will be retained in the final constitution.

Speaking during a press briefing today at the UPND Secretariat in Lusaka, Mr Hichilema said once this legal framework is put in place, it will ensure a bill of rights with provisions to protect journalists.

"Release the draft constitution so that we can all discuss it. MPs ensure there is a new legal framework to provide for a referendum so that in 2016 we have elections under a new constitution," he said.

He said the new constitution must also provide for a Vice President Running Mate clause to avoid presidential by-elections that are too costly for the nation.

"We need a progressive constitution, one that will make sure we do not have these useless by-elections. We can do it. Other countries have done it," said Mr Hichilema.

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