Lusaka- Zambia’s interim leader Guy Scott late Sunday disputed the nomination of Defence Minister Edgar Lungu as the party’s presidential candidate, state radio has reported.
The move is another display of the infighting that was threatening to sink the governing Patriotic Front party in the January 20, 2015 election.
Mr Lungu was declared winner after eight other contestants did not turn up after their names were called out.
Party national chairperson Inonge Wina told delegates who gathered in the central district of Kabwe that their national council preferred Mr Lungu as the flag bearer.
Delegates’ credibility doubted
But interim President Scott, who local media reported did not turn up at the venue of the general conference, said the conference was invaded by “illegal” delegates and the proper election process with other candidates contesting would take place the following day.
Party chairperson for elections Sylvia Masebo also declared the election of Mr Lungu as “null and void”.
But national chairperson Ms Wina said the election of Mr Lungu was valid and legal because the gathering was sanctioned by party president Scott.
The two camps, one led by Mr Scott and the other by Ms Wina, have been bickering over the voter’s roll since calling a general conference to pick Sata’s successor.
Sata’s widow, Christine, is also contesting the election.
Named interim leader after the death of president Michael Sata, Scott became Africa’s first white head of state since South Africa’s last apartheid president.
He will run the copper-rich country briefly — during the 90 days until fresh presidential elections are held.
But the 70-year-old is currently not eligible to become president because of foreign parentage rules in Zambia’s 1996 constitution.
BANDA HOLDS SUCCESSFUL RALLY
Meanwhile, former Zambia President Rupiah Banda held a successful and fairly attended rally in the eastern part of the capital Lusaka.
Mr Banda’s return to politics has been met with resistance with his Movement for Multiparty Democracy party legislators opting to support another opposition leader from the United Party for National Development, Mr Hakainde Hichilema.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor