48 Zambian opposition MPs suspended for boycotting president’s speech
Zambia’s parliament suspended 48 opposition lawmakers on Tuesday for boycotting a speech by the president, widening a political rift that has alarmed rights groups.
Parliament’s speaker barred the United Party for National Development (UPND) politicians from taking their seats for 30 days.
The party, which was defeated in August elections called the suspensions unconstitutional.
The lawmakers boycotted President Edgar Lungu’s address at the official opening of the assembly in March, saying they did not recognize him as leader.
UPND’s leader, Hakainde Hichilema, and five others were arrested and charged with treason after a column of opposition vehicles failed to make way for Lungu’s motorcade.