THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) will review the Electoral Code of Conduct (ECC) before the 2011 general elections to strengthen adherence to the code by various stakeholders during polls.
ECZ public relations manager Cris Akufuna said the commission would review the ECC in consultation with political parties and civil society organisations.
“We shall get suggestions from both political parties and civil society organisations on what should be reviewed in the ECC. The approach will be similar to that we took in 2006,” he said.
He cited the Anti-Voter Apathy Project (AVAP), which had identified specific areas that need to be reviewed in the code of conduct.
Mr Akufuna said the commission would be taking necessary steps to find a possible solution to the increasing levels of political violence as witnessed in the Mufumbwe by elections.
On Monday, the ECZ protested the violence that was witnessed in the Mufumbwe by-elections.
Mr Akufuna, however, said it was important that all stakeholders complied with the provisions of the code that they pledged to uphold.
“The code provides for duties of all stakeholders.
“It is incumbent upon all these stakeholders to ensure that the code is complied with,” he said.
Currently, the commission has ensured that candidates and political parties signed a declaration form (ECC1) that they would comply with the provisions of the code.
Mr Akufuna said the code in section 1 (2) provides that the commission and police shall enforce the code of conduct and shall promote conditions conducive to the observance of the code.
He said matters that bordered on violence and criminality were supposed to be dealt with by the police and not the commission.
All complaints arising during elections and campaigns should be channeled to the conflict management committees.
Mr Akufuna could not comment on the complaint by the MMD that the UPND had connived with some election agents in Mufumbwe to under-count the results of the ruling party because it would be prejudicial.
[Times of Zambia]