Since his election, the President on multiple occasions has made welcome remarks on the need for constitutional and legislative reforms, including electoral reforms. These include Presidential pronouncements at the first session of the 13th National Assembly in September 2021, during a subsequent meeting with the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) in March 2022, and in his address to the European Union Parliament in June 2022.
The Constitutional Court was asked to interpret Article 52(6) of the Constitution in relation to a parliamentary candidate who withdraws candidature between nomination and election dates. Two specific questions were asked, but before looking at the questions, it is important to set out Article 52(6) out. It states: 52(6) Where a candidate dies, resigns or becomes disqualified in accordance with Article 70, 100 or 153 or a court disqualifies a candidate for corruption or malpractice, after the close of nominations and before the election date, the Electoral Commission shall cancel the election and require the filing of fresh nominations by eligible candidates and elections shall be held within thirty days of the filing of the fresh nominations. The applicants asked the following two specific questions for interpretation by the Court