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Zambian Parliament Votes Against Impeaching President Levy - 2003-08-13

Zambia's parliament has voted against impeaching President Levy Mwanawasa. The impeachment motion was tabled Wednesday.

The motion on impeachment fell short of the two-thirds required for it to pass.

The opposition United Party for National Development charged that President Mwanawasa had violated the constitution and that he was guilty of misconduct. The lawmakers tabled 25 charges including several of bribery and nepotism.

The motion follows a high-profile anti-corruption campaign launched by Mr. Mwanawasa after he was elected in December 2001. Among those who have been hauled before the courts is former president Frederick Chiluba who was charged last week with the theft of state funds during his term of office.

Mr. Mwanawasa's supporters said the charges are vindictive. They said the accusations are groundless and that no proper evidence has been presented to parliament to back up the allegations.

But opposition lawmakers say their motion was not "frivolous" and that some ministers and officials sacked by the president had given him a share of money they received from private companies. They also say his party, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy, received payments from companies which won government contracts.