Zambian President Edgar Lungu says he has chosen to speak about his eligibility to stand in 2021 in order to give some form of direction to his ruling PF party.
According to Lusuka Times, Lungu maintained that he was not imposing himself but simply indicating his availability for candidature in 2021.
Lungu sparked an angry response from the opposition last week after he announced that he was prepared to stand for re-election.
“I am eligible to stand in 2021 and if you can go to the Constitutional Court and they will tell you I am eligible to stand in 2021… God willing and if people allow, I will stand,” Lungu said.
Lungu said he felt it was the right time to state his position. He said he decided to announce his availability for the 2021 general elections because there were some members within the PF who had been causing confusion on the matter by going round the country positioning themselves for 2021.
But a prominent lawmaker said that Lungu was “ineligible for another term”.
“Lungu does not qualify… We can’t continue with a dictator, his police are killing people very day,” United Party for National Development (UPND) lawmaker Douglas Syakalima, who is also an adviser to opposition leader Hakainde Hichileam was quoated as saying.
Lungu came into power in 2015 to complete president Michael Sata’s five-year tenure after he (Sata) died in October 2014 – two years before completing his term.
Lungu was re-elected last August, narrowly beating Hichilema.