Political Parties participating in the forthcoming parliamentary by-elections should ensure that they observe clean campaigns and promote unity, peace and development in the country, says Forum of Democratic Process (FODEP) executive director MacDonald Chipenzi.
Mr. Chipenzi told the Daily Nation that Zambians were eagerly looking forward to maturity in the political arena of the country unlike the distressing environment being experienced.
He said that clean campaigns should always be promoted in order to add credibility and integrity to the country’s electoral process.
“In the past we had recorded a lot of violence in these by-elections and we only hope that players and other stakeholders in this whole process observe serious electoral rules by avoiding smear campaigns which attract violence,” he said.
Mr. Chipenzi also said that political parties participating in the by-elections should not ferry cadres from Lusaka or any other areas to places where the by-elections where taking place. He observed that the ferrying of cadres in areas where by-elections were taking place could create anarchy in the country and question the credibility of the election.
“At the moment not much violence is being recorded or reported and that is what we should like to see. Let us detest violence at all levels. And it is the responsibility of all players to uphold the electoral code of conduct and the electoral act in order to add value to the electoral process of the country,” he said.
Mr. Chipenzi also appealed to the PF government to provide a fair playing ground for all political players in the management of the campaigns.
And MMD Die Hard National Coordinator Bowman Lusambo said that the MMD would not tolerate violence from any circle of society, adding that the former ruling party would always uphold the principles of good governance through the adherence to the electoral act.
Mr. Lusambo said that the MMD was a peaceful party and it was only fair that those that indulge in activities that undermine the credibility of an election were condemned openly.
“We want to ensure that these by-elections are clean and credible. Those that promote electoral violence should be dealt with. Let the electoral law of this country criminalize some of these issues. Yes I know it has criminalized some of the things am talking about but we need to enforce the law,” he said.
MMD, UPND, PF, UNIP and NAREP face off in the parliamentary by-elections in four constituencies on July 25th.