Registrar must revisit party constitutions – Chipenzi
By Staff Reporter
A civil society activist has challenged the Register of Societies to revisit all political party constitutions and scrutinize them if they have objectives of contesting elections to form government.
In a statement on his Facebook page, GEARS Chief Executive Officer Mc Donald Chipenzi said it was unfortunate that many political parties exist on paper at the Registrar but do not participate in elections save for endorsing other parties’ candidates contrary to the constitutional definition of a political party.
“The Registrar of Societies must evaluate All political parties to find out whether the objective of contesting elections to form government is embedded in their constitutions or not,” he stated, adding that “This will enable the Registrar to advise those without any to revise their constitutions or turn into NGOs whose objective is not to participate in elections in order to form government but to advocate for good governance”.
He advised that those not participating must be considered for deregistration as they are in breach of article 266 of the constitution.
Chipenzi said the constitution stated that a political party “means an association whose objectives include the contesting of elections in order to form government or influence the policy of the national or local government”.
He stated that this is also in line with article 60(1)(b) which guides that “a political party has a right to sponsor candidates for election or nomination to a state office in respect of which election are required to be held.”
The Zambian political landscape usually sees various “small” political parties mashrooming for the sole purpose of endorsing other political parties towards and during elections.