Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Tilyenji, Muliokela, Hichilema Declare Themselves Ready For Polls

Tilyenji Kaunda
By Paul Shalala

Opposition UNIP President Tilyenji Kaunda, Poor People's Party President Alex Muliokela and UPND President Hakainde Hichilema are the only presidential aspirants who have so far confirmed their participation in the forthcoming presidential by-election whose date is yet to be announced.

The by-election has been necessitated by the death of President Michael Sata who was yesterday buried at Embassy Park in Lusaka.

Last week, UNIP National Chairman Jonathan Kenani announced that the party's  35th national council committee meeting had resolved to adopt Mr Kaunda for the forthcoming presidential election and the 2016 presidential election.
35th UNIP national council committee

And Mr Muliokela says he is headed for a landslide victory as he has unparalled messages.

Hakainde Hichilema
"Zambia needs a man of my calibre for a President because of my hard work towards reducing poverty," said Mr Muliokela.

And Mr Hichileman in an interview with
journalists at Parliament on Monday after a thanksgiving ceremony for the late president, said he was ready to attempt the presidency for the forth time.

"I'm ready and we are ready as UPND. We will contest this election because we want to give the people a constitution that will avoid wastage of resources by giving the people good laws," he said.

Mr Hichilema contested and lost presidential elections in 2006, 2008 and 2011.

Edgar Lungu
The ruling Patriotic Front is tomorrow expected to convene a Central Committee meeting where issues surrounding the party candidate will be discussed.

PF Secretary General Edgar Lungu has since declared that the PF will stay on despite the death of its founder Michael Sata who led it from inception in 2001.

There are so far opposing views on how the PF will adopt its presidential candidate.

Some members are calling for the Central Committee to do so while others want an urgent General Conference to be convened to allow members to choose their candidate.

"We will not allow cartels and other highest bidders to hijack the PF. This party will stay on because Michael Sata instilled his vision and ideals in us the members," said Lungu during the requiem mass at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka yesterday.

Meanwhile, the former ruling party MMD is still in a deadlock as t who will lead it in the forthcoming polls.

MMD President Dr. Nevers Mumba and former President Rupiah Banda are said to be frontrunners in the battle to lead the party in the presidential by-election.

Nevers Mumba and Rupiah Banda
"We are mourning and its not appropriate for me to comment if am contesting or not. But for those who want to hijack the MMD, we have a strong constitution and no one can hijack it," he said in an interview on Monday.

And Mr Banda also refused to comment over the matter.

"Let us discuss those matters after we bury His Excellency President Michael Sata," said Banda, who led the MMD and the nation from 2008 to 2011..

Meanwhile, several other opposition political parties are not yet certain on who will contest the presidential elections on their respective tickets.

FDD President Edith Nawakwi, who lost the 2011 presidential elections, is reluctant to attach her name to the polls.
Edith Nawakwi

"I can not state whether i will contest or not. It is up to our National Secretary to disclose who is interested or not within our party," said Nawakwi as she smiled.

And ADD's Charles Milupi says his party will on Thursday hold a National Executive Meeting to decide whether to run for elections.

"We will have a National Executive Meeting on Thursday where we will decide whether to run or not. We will also decide who to run if that will be the case," said Milupi, who also lost the presidential vote in 2011.

The National Restoration Party (NAREP) is tomorrow expected to announce whether it will contest the elections or not.

Under Zambia's 1991 constitution as amended in 1996, the country is supposed to hold elections within 90 days of the the office of the President being declared vacant.

With 28th October 2014 being the date President Sata died, Zambia is supposed to hold the elections on or before January 26th, 2015.

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