- July 18, 2016
- Posted by: ecz_wp
- Category: Press Release
- Suspension of Political Party campaigns
The Electoral Commission of Zambia has today, 18th July, 2016 lifted the 10 day suspension of political party campaigns that was invoked on 9th July, 2016. The Commission is appealing for peaceful campaigns and violent free campaigns in the remainder of the campaign period.
The Commission has since developed the Addendum to the Peace Pledge which will be circulated to the participating political parties for their perusal and comments. The Commission is glad that the United Progressive People is here this afternoon to state their commitment to peaceful campaigns.
- Conflict Management Workshops
In response to the increasing political violence arising out of the political campaigns the Commission, with the support of UNDP, is partnering with the Dag Hammarskjold Institute for Peace to organise a series of conflict prevention/management workshops for political party leadership at the provincial and district level. The objective of the workshops is to engage the political parties on their role in conflict management and conflict prevention within and between political parties. The dialogues will focus on the 5 conflict-prone provinces that have, or are likely to experience, one form or another of political conflicts/violence. These are Lusaka, Western, Southern, Copperbelt and Central Provinces. However representation in the workshop would be from all the 10 provinces.
- Voter Registration Audit
Since the VRA findings, the Commission has been working with the relevant departments to try to resolve as many of the findings as possible before the final certification of the voters register. Although it has received some files from the relevant government agencies, it has only allowed for partial action to take place as the information provided was not always sufficient or timely enough to deal with issues such as double NRC number holders.
The Commission has nonetheless been able to resolve the 2,555 cases where NRC numbers and other personal details correlated very closely by using its field agents. This includes the 492 records that share full registration details. The Commission has also been able to work with NAPSA to remove a further approximate 10,000 names from the deceased from the register.
The cases of the approximate other 130,000 cases of shared NRC numbers does not necessarily equate to future cases of voting irregularities, but a simple administrative error of national administration which is not the fault of the card holders. Therefore it is only proper that they be allowed to vote. This aside, ECZ would like to remind stakeholders that shared NRC numbers does not fall under its responsibility.
Apart from the VRA, it should be noted that polling agents and the technology they will have to support them on polling day will also provide guarantees against voting irregularities. Any issues which ECZ did not have the time to resolve with the responsible government agencies before the certification of the register will be tackled as medium to long term measures after the elections.
As a result of the above, Zambian voters should feel reassured that the voter register provides the basis for free and transparent elections.
Accreditation for local monitors continues in the districts up to the 9th August. Accreditation for International Observers has been taking place at the Commission headquarters. From Wednesday, 20th July, 2016, accreditation for international observers will take place at Intercontinental Hotel.
Accreditation for the Results Centre will take place from the 3rd to 9th August, 2016.
- Ballot paper printing
Ballot papers for the referendum, mayoral, Presidential and Local Government elections have all been printed as of today. Posters for the referendum and mayoral elections have also been printed.
As at today, printing of ballot papers for the National Assembly is at 45%. It is expected that they will complete printing by Tuesday.
All the ballot papers are expected in the country by the month end. Stakeholders will be invited to witness the arrival of ballot papers.
- Training of Poll Staff
Training of district trainers, Returning Officers and Assistant Returning Officers on elections and results management processes commenced on 10th July, 2016 and will end today, 18th July, 2016.
The district trainers will then proceed to train Poll Staff in their districts from 23rd to 25th July, 2016.
- Media reports on Postponement of Polls
Media reports accusing the Commission of planning to postpone elections are unfounded and unfortunate. There is no law that empowers the Commission to cancel or postpone a General Election. The Commission may however postpone a by-election if conditions for the holding of credible elections are not conducive.
Crispin N. Akufuna
Public Relations Manager
ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF ZAMBIA