Banda retreats from presidential race

2014-12-24 22:02
Former Zambian leader, Rupiah Banda. (File, AFP)

Former Zambian leader, Rupiah Banda. (File, AFP)

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Lusaka - Former Zambian President Rupiah Banda has retreated out of the presidential race by issuing a statement urging his supporters to accept the verdict of the Supreme Court which rejected his bid to contest the 20 January 2015 presidential election.

The Supreme Court last week ruled that Rupiah cannot be the candidate for the former ruling party, the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) but allowed party president Nevers Mumba to be the candidate.

The decision to endorse Banda as MMD candidate was made by the MMD national executive committee, the highest policy-making organ of the party, but the court said the elected leader must be the candidate.

"However, as you all know, the courts have ruled and we need to respect the decision of our courts. This is regardless of the view we may have on interpreting our party constitution," Banda said in a one-page statement released to the media in the Zambian capital, Lusaka.

Banda thanked Zambians who invited him to be the presidential candidate but urged them to respect the court verdict.

"I know that ours was a noble cause. As I pointed out in our campaign message, we believe that our country is at a crossroads. This situation, therefore, requires our collective will to be addressed," Banda wrote in a statement signed by his administrative assistant Kennedy Limwanya.

Banda mentioned issues of concern in Zambia, which included the high cost of living, the need to stabilise the economy, the need to unify the country and the need to introduce a new constitution to address contentious issues.

Banda said his supporters would work with a party that would be prepared to accept the existence of the MMD as a legitimate participant in the current political dispensation.

Read more on:    rupiah banda  |  zambia

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