THE nomination fees for elective political office are unjustifiable and astronomical leading to the deprivation of Zambians of their right to exercise their political rights, the Green Party has said in its petition before the Constitutional Court against the Electoral Commission of Zambia.
Green Party Secretary General, Daniel Sichilongo, has requested the Constitutional Court to direct ECZ to process his nomination papers because its decision to reject his application as a candidate for Kafue Constituency was unconstitutional, null and void.
Mr Sichilongo, of house number 169 Unity Drive Kafue, accused the electoral process of lacking transparency and challenged ECZ and the Attorney General to explain the alleged exorbitant fees against young aspiring candidates in the August 11 2016 general elections.
He said it was unconstitutional for the Commission to reject his nomination papers on the grounds that he was late for the filing in process as he did not have access to a working ATM machine to withdraw the required nomination fees.
“The electoral system which has been imposed by the respondent for the 11 August 2016 presidential and general elections deprives citizens of their right to exercise their political rights as it imposed unjustifiable and astronomical nomination fees and it tended to discrimination against the young aspiring candidates in the presidential and general elections.
“The rejection of the petitioner’s nomination papers by the respondents on grounds that the petitioner was late was unconstitutional,” he said.
He explained that he was informed that his nomination time was scheduled from 1200 – 2020 hours on 31st May, 2016 by the returning officer, but that arriving at the nomination centre at 15:25 hours; he was informed that the system had already shut down and could not be reopened.
Mr Sichilongo said the court must declare the electoral system of failing to promote fair representation of various interest groups especially young people, and that the rejection of his nomination papers should be declared illegal, unconstitutional and null and void.
He said the court must order that ECZ does not proceed with printing of ballot papers and for the holding of the parliamentary elections for Kafue Constituency until the determination of the matter or such relief sought if deemed fit.