Publication Date



In a case brought to determine the eligibility of President Edgar Lungu to stand as a presidential candidate in 2021, having served less than three years in his first term, the Constitutional Court determined that: ‘…the presidential tenure of office that ran from January 25, 2015 to September 13, 2016 and straddled two constitutional regimes, cannot be considered as a full term.’

In doing so, the Constitutional Court effectively backdated the application of the ‘New Clauses’ to a time when there was already a law governing: (a) the eligibility of a person to stand again as a presidential candidate who has twice been elected as president (he or she would be disqualified); and (b) how long a presidential term needed to be in order to count as a full term under the law (there was previously no minimum period, meaning prior to the 2016 amendment to the Constitution, a person could technically be president for less than a year and still be deemed to have served a full term).