POLITICAL parties participating in the January presidential election should strictly adhere to the electoral code of conduct and avoid engaging in violence so that the electorate can peacefully elect a leader of their choice, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has demanded.
And all political parties participating in the January presidential election with the exception of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) have confirmed with the Electoral Commission of Zambia the dates and time of filing their nomination papers.
ECZ chairperson Irene Mambilima disclosed that of the 11 political parties that are participating in the presidential election, the commission had not yet agreed with the ruling party the date and time when the PF presidential candidate Edgar Lungu was to file his nomination papers.
Justice Mambilima said all political parties must conduct themselves in a responsible and peaceful manner during the campaign period and after the election.
Justice Mambilima said all peace-loving and law-abiding citizens had a role to play in contributing to the peaceful transition through the conduct of a peaceful election and appealed to stakeholders to report all electoral breaches to the police and other law enforcement agencies
Speaking when the commission met all the presidential candidates at Mulungushi International Conference Centre, Justice Mambilima said it was important for the political parties to endeavour to be organized and orderly and assist the commission conduct a peaceful and credible election.
She advised political parties participating in the election to guide and educate their cadres to abide by the electoral code of conduct while campaigning for their candidates.
She reiterated that the commission was not going to postpone nomination day on account that some political parties would not be ready.
Among the presidential candidates that attended the meeting were former president Rupiah Banda of the MMD, Patriotic Front (PF) president Edgar Lungu, Forum for Development and Democracy (FDD) president Edith Nawakwi, National Restoration Party (NAREP) leader Elias Chipimo, Green Party president Peter Sinkamba, UNIP president Tilyenji Kaunda, Heritage Party (HP) president Gen Miyanda and Ludwig Sondashi of the Forum for Democratic Alternatives (FDA) among others.
“As we stated earlier, there will be no extension to the nomination timetable on account of any political party not being ready as we are required to conduct this election within 90 days of the demise of the President. We also appeal to all political parties participating in the presidential election to conduct themselves in a responsible manner during the campaigns and after the polls,” Justice Mambilima said.
Justice Mambilima said ECZ would not use the electronic transmission of results in the coming presidential election although the commission had continued with its pilot programme of the electronic transmission of results from the polling stations.
Justice Mambilima said results from polling stations would be physically delivered to the 150 constituency centres by the presiding officers of the respective polling stations.