Although many factors to consider exist for a political party to win the August 11, 2016 presidential and general elections, for a party that is serious to become victorious in such elections should go into alliance with Zambians. But how can a political party go into a formidable political alliance with Zambians to win the stated elections?

One of the critical clauses in the Amended Constitution is one that demands that a winning republican president should garner 50 per cent plus one vote threshold. With such a clause in the Amended Constitution; and considering the nature and levels of popularity among most political parties; and indeed reflecting on tribal voting patterns that have characterized the past elections, the need for forming political pacts between or among parties has become clearer to all political parties than ever before.

However, the way some political parties are creating such alliances; and the purposes for doing so seem to be de-campaigning such parties.

Therefore, no one will wonder why some parties will lose the August 11, 2016 elections because the way most of the potential parties to win in stated elections are forming such pacts, one can conclude that such parties are busy distancing themselves from majority Zambians; and in the process increasing more votes for their political opponents.

Elections can be ‘rigged’ in favour of one’s opponent (s) depending on how a political candidate or a party conducts oneself or itself respectively.

For instance, while Zambians know that August 11, 2016 presidential and general elections will be conducted as a way of forming a team of best politicians to govern this country, some politicians from some political parties and from some regions have publicly declared that they have resolved and formed such alliances just to remove President Edgar Chagwa Lungu from State House. As a result, regardless of their conflicting political ideologies and personalities; but because most of them are violent and want to remove President Lungu from State House, they have formed alliances.

Unfortunately, to make matters worse, some of such pacts seem to have a strong tribal inclination. But how many Zambians want to vote for a party and its presidential candidate with tribal label?

Commenting on the common tribal voting patterns in the past elections, veteran politician, Sikota Wina once said:  ‘No political party can win Zambian elections from one tribe or region.

with the current 50 per cent plus one threshold.

With the 50 per cent plus one vote threshold in the Amended Constitution, even if a party has three or four of its stronghold provinces, it might still be cumbersome for such a party or presidential candidate to win elections.

To win elections in such a legal environment, a political party and its presidential candidate should have a national character. It’s from such a background that President Edgar Chagwa Lungu says that his tribe is Zambian.

For a party to achieve a national character, many factors are also put into consideration. But composition of that party which should include a sizable number of political pillars from each province is critical. So, who are your political party alliance’s pillars in each region?

Aligning yourselves with people who haven’t worked as ward councilors, members of Parliament (MPs) or who have been rejected by many Zambians; including by those from their own village might not help some political pacts.

Even those who have gone into alliance with institutions or media houses that are perceived to be working against Zambia’s public interest might be de-campaigning their own parties and their presidential candidates in the August 11, 2016 elections.

Therefore, forming alliances with individuals or parties who or which have no support from Zambians respectively is like ‘rigging’ the forthcoming elections against yourself; and in the process in favour of your political opponents.

Moreover, good works of each politician, political party and its leadership are also paramount in forming formidable political alliance for the forthcoming elections.

And following our motto of ‘One Zambia; One Nation’, Zambians want to put in office a political party; and its presidential candidate who cuts across more than the 73 ethnic tribes. This is a republican president who can promote unity, co-operation and sustainable national development process for the good of Mother Zambia and all Zambians. Can your political party and your presidential candidate promote ‘One Zambia; One Nation’ with peace and stability?

Because Zambians are peaceful people; and living in a Christian nation, those political parties highly involved in political violence aren’t forming alliances with Zambians. Zambians want to form political alliances with peace loving political parties; and not violent ones.

Ask yourself: ‘Is our party politically violent? How many known violent people have we recruited in our party? Are such violent people helping to brand our party positively or negatively?

Surprisingly, while President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has publicly denounced political violence; and has promised to continue fighting against it as he want to lead a peaceful nation, some political leaders publicly support such violence; and recruit more people associated with engineering or directly being involved in political violence!

Additionally, using abusive language against your political opponents in a Christian nation is another way of increasing the number of votes in favour of your political opponent. Zambians want issue-based and persuasive politics. In the minds of many Zambians, insults against individual politicians or political parties and their leaders work against yourself, your aspiring political candidate and that of your party.

Therefore, political alliances shouldn’t be formed with socially and politically violent people whose main aim is to target an individual citizen regardless of his or her socio-cultural, political or financial status; or to restrain or remove a specific presidential candidate or a party from being or becoming a ruling party for whatever reasons respectively; but to come up with a selfless, highly politically experienced and committed team of government leaders who can take this country to greater heights socially, culturally, economically, politically and legally to enhance sustainable national development process.

Note considering such critical factors in forming political pacts is another way of scoring your own goal; and later cry foul that elections were rigged in favour of your political opponents.

It’s in this light that, to avoid de-campaigning itself, PF deputy spokesperson, Fr Frank Bwalya while on Hot FM radio programme in the recent past said that PF has formed an alliance with Zambians through development projects in all regions. Fr Bwalya also said PF has formed partnership with youths and women groups through Youth and Women Empowerment Programmes. The PF deputy spokesperson also said PF has formed alliances with the church and traditional leaders because PF beliefs that such institutions are critical in Zambia’s good governance and sustainable development processes.

Whether PF claims are true or false, this is what one expects from a political party which wants to form meaningful political alliances to benefit all Zambians. Forming alliances for vengeance or for personal business motives isn’t forming an alliance with Zambians.

Therefore, ask yourself and your party leadership this question: ‘Who have we gone into political alliance with? What are we going to benefit from such an alliance?’

This is why, while remaining open to form alliances with other parties, PF leadership and its government seem to be resolved in forming a political alliance with all Zambians.

Going into political alliance with politicians, parties or institutions which most Zambians don’t want to be associated with is ‘rigging’ August 11, 2016 elections against your own party. And if a presidential candidate or a political party goes into a pact with a politician, a political party or an institution which will make majority Zambians not to vote for such a presidential candidate or his or her party, such a presidential candidate and his or her political party shouldn’t cry foul; and claim that such elections were rigged against him, her or against his or her party.

The best political parties can do now is to form a political alliance with Zambians. And forming a pact with Zambians is avoiding both tribalism and political violence; and knowing who to form an alliance with in promoting peace, unity and national development process before and after August 11, 2016 elections.

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