Chiluba presidential challenger barred

Zambia's Vice President Enoch Kavindele said on Monday that opposition Forum for Democratic Development (FDD)presidential candidate Christon Tembo would not be allowed to stand in the election because his parents were from Malawi. Kavindele was quoted as saying that the constitution required that both parents were born in Zambia. "It is general knowledge that Tempo's father is Malawian," Kavindele said.

The ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) amended the constitution in 1996 to include a provision that both parents of presidential candidates should be Zambians by birth.

Tembo was elected FDD leader and nominated as presidential candidate at the party's first national convention at the weekend, reports said. Christon Tembo beat three other candidates, including two former ministers, reports added. The FDD was formed four months ago by former ruling Movement for Mutiparty Democracy (MMD) cabinet ministers and MPs expelled from the party for publicly opposing Chiluba's third term bid.

Last week, two former cabinet ministers and 18 other parliamentarians gave up their seats and resigned from the ruling party to join the opposition ahead of the general elections later this year. Former local government and housing minister Ackson Sejani, former sports minister Syacheye Madyenkuku and lawmaker Mann Muyuni resigned on Wednesday to join the FDD. The other 17 lawmakers resigned on Thursday. Sejani, Madyenkuku and the 18 others were expelled from the MMD after not attending a ruling party convention, but had lodged a legal challenge.