Zambian president announces bid for third term in 2021
President Edgar Lungu has announced his intention to run for a third term as president when his second term of office will expire in 2021.
Lungu told his supporters Thursday on the Copperbelt that he had carefully studied the provisions of the Constitution which he says allows him to contest the presidential election scheduled for 2021.
"After carefully reading the Constitution, it does not stop me from contesting the 2021 presidential election. I will therefore consider contesting [it]," President Lungu told his supporters.
According to President Lungu, the one year he served as president in 2015 was to complete the five-year term left vacant by late president Michael Chilufya Sata who died in a London hospital in Oct. 2014. "I have just started my full five-year term and 2021 will be my second term as president."
The Zambian constitution, however, limits the president to two five-year terms. If a sitting president dies while in office, the successor to complete the remainder of the term is deemed to have completed a full five-year term.
Lungu is Zambia’s sixth president since it gained its independence in 1964.
On Dec. 29, the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) in Lusaka endorsed him as the sole presidential candidate for 2021, a move welcomed by some members of the Central Committee including ministers.