By MUNAMBEZA MUWANEI –
THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) says political parties that fail to adhere to the Electoral Code of Conduct will face disqualification from participating in the forthcoming parliamentary and local government by elections.
ECZ Public Relations Manager Margaret Chimanse encouraged political parties to comply with the electoral code to avoid disqualification.
Ms Chimanse said in a Press Statement released yesterday that under the Elections Process Act Number 35 of 2016 Section 110, the Commission had powers to disqualify a political party or candidate found to have fallen foul of the code.
“We… encourage political parties to comply with the code, failure to which the Commission will have no other option but to disqualify the (offending ) political party or candidates,” she said.
She added: “The commission has the duty to censure acts done by leaders of political parties’ candidates, supporters and government and its organs which are aimed at jeopardising elections or done in contravention of the code,” Ms Chimanse said.
She expressed disappointment at the failure by political parties to adhere to the electoral regulations set forth to promote conducive electoral environment during the May 3 nominations.
These actions brought about discomfort and intimidation among some segments of society and the Commission was actively addressing an incident that happened in Nyimba’s Luangwa ward during the filing in of nominations.
She said the Commission reaffirms the stakeholder expectations agreed upon by the Church mother bodies and political parties on April 30, 2018.
The expectations include need for political parties to refrain from clashing and to avoid verbal disputes and other forms of provocation which could ignite violence.
She said the citizenry have a right to vote and choose their leaders freely.