Edgar Lungu, the Zambian head of state, may run for a third term in 2021, if he so desires. The Constitutional Court of his country has decided this Friday, saying it would not violate the law on the constitutional limit.
In Zambia, the number of presidential terms is limited to two. But this law contained in the new Constitution promulgated in August 2016 at the instigation of President Lungu contains many guard-fours. It stresses, in particular, that a presidential term of office is a period of at least three years at the head of the country after the inauguration of the new elected president.
An argument brandished by supporters of President Edgar Lungu. Indeed, the latter took office for the first time in January 2015 after the death of President Michael Sata. He then served only a year and a half before the August 2016 elections he won.
For the opposition, however, it is a manipulation of the texts. The association of lawyers of the country as well as the main opposition party had therefore asked the Constitutional Court to reject the request of a coalition of parties that asked to authorize a third term to the current head of state.
Long before the deliberation on Friday, President Lungu had warned the Constitutional Court not to take any “adventurous” decisions that could plunge the country into chaos.