Is mere party membership by a Republican President a recipe for constitutional crisis in his subsequent expulsion from the party

Thumbnail Image
Chibalabala, John
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The office of President is the pinnacle of power in this country and is a creation of the Constitution, which is the fundamental Law in Zambia.1 The Constitution provides inter-alia for the establishment of the three traditional arms of government, namely, the Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislature.The President heads the Executive and exerts considerable influence over the other organs of government in terms of appointments and passing of Parliamentary Bills into Statutes.The constitution therefore vests broad and enormous powers in the President. Three sweeping amendments have been made to the constitution using Constitutional Commissions as the originating devices," and rubber stamped by the majority members of ruling parties in the National Assembly. The current composition of the Members of Parliament however, may prove to be a turning point in the Zambia's history because for the very first time, during the December 2001 general elections the ruling party, MMD, Jailed to secure an overwhelming majority in the National Assembly (though this could change by political manipulations)notwithstanding, this paper deals with, inter-alia, the constitutional requirement that a presidential candidate be either a member of or sponsored by a political party. 'Party' membership was introduced in the Second Republic by UN1P when it introduced the one party system of government, while 'sponsored' by a political party arose from the compromise between MMD and UN1P before the 1991 elections and was embodied in the 1991 constitution.Thus in the event of a serving President being expelled from the party, does he or she become an independent? Could this create a near constitutional crisis'? What could the courts say?In an attempt to answer these questions this paper will, inter alia, scrutinize the synopsis of past general elections since independence, constitutional arrangements and consider the implications of his or her expulsion from the party that facilitates his/her ascendancy to power, in the First, Second and Third Republics.
Politics and government- Zambia , Election law- Zambia , Elections- Zambia , Constitutional history- Zambia , Party affiliation- Zambia , Political parties- Zambia , Political culture- Zambia