Constitution Court dismisses petition against President Lungu’s election

The Constitutional Court hearing the presidential petition brought by losing candidate opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, on Monday dismissed the petition saying that it does not have the jurisdiction to hear the petition after the expiry of the 14 days last Friday.

On Friday, the Constitutional Court president Hilda Chibomba ruled that the petition could be heard from Monday to Thursday (5-8 September) to enable the petitioners to present their main matter and witnesses.

But on Monday the court ruled that the petition should not be heard after three of the five judges ruled that the court could not hear the matter outside the 14-day window provided for by the constitution, while two judges who include justice Chibomba argued that the case should be heard.

During the 14 days that the court had been sitting it had been dealing with preliminary issues and it had not even started hearing the main case yet and no witness had had an opportunity to give evidence in court.

Hichilema, the United Party for National Development leader, did not talk to journalists after the ruling.

President Edgar Lungu was declared winner on August 15 after having secured 50.3 per cent of votes against Hichilema who got 46.7 per cent.

Hichilema had petitioned the declaration of President Lungu as president saying he did not get over 50 per cent of votes cast as required by law and demanded for a recount, verification and scrutiny of votes cast in the August 11 elections so as to ascertain the real winner.

Meanwhile, Cabinet announced on Monday that President-Elect Lungu will be sworn in next week Tuesday.


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