Zambian VP defends proposed political parties bill

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/9/26 10:15:41

Zambian Vice President Inonge Wina on Monday defended the government's decision to introduce a bill in parliament that seeks to regulate the operation of political parties.

Political parties have rejected the political parties' bill in its current form, saying there were many areas that needed to be reviewed before it is passed into law.

Some critics have outrightly rejected the bill, saying it was a ploy by the ruling party to abuse public resources.

The government has since called on stakeholders to make submissions on what they would like to see included in the bill.

But the vice president said the bill should be viewed as an opportunity for the country to enhance the legal framework of its democratic agenda.

According to her, critics should not view the provisions of the bill to guide the operations of political parties as a law being made in bad faith, adding that government was committed to promoting the rule of law by putting in place legal frameworks that were fair and enforced impartially.

She said, in remarks delivered at the start of a five-day consultative forum on the 2017 political parties' bill in Lusaka, the country's capital that the bill was meant to guide how political parties should operate in a growing democracy.

Political parties, she said, have a role to play in promoting democracy, constitutionalism and transparency, adding that provisions such as financing of political parties will strive to curb corrupt financing in politics and bring about transparency and accountability.

But she noted that to achieve this, the government needed to put in place legislation that will ensure that political parties adhere to set principles even at party level.

Justice Minister Given Lubinda said his ministry has received a number of written submissions from various stakeholders since the consultative process started last month.

According to him, stakeholders should support the bill because it will promote morality, patriotism and constructive criticism in the country's political arena.

The bill will also enable political parties to start functioning with a national purpose and represent the interests of the people, he added.

Posted in: AFRICA

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