The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has said that the Commission will not stand by to see the good name that Zambia earned after the 2011 tripartite elections be tarnished by the continuous abrogation of the electoral regulations.
ECZ chairperson Irene Mabilima said that the Commission was deeply concerned with the rising levels of intolerance and violence by political parties during elections and the apparent disregard of the Electoral Code of Conduct and the Commission’s mandate to conduct elections by some stakeholders including the Zambia Police Service.
“The Commission wishes to remind all stakeholders that it is the only legally mandated body to conduct elections in Zambia and it will not stand by to see the good reputation that Zambia has been credited with worldwide following the 2011 tripartite elections being negated by the abrogation of electoral regulations and irresponsible conduct of some stakeholders,” she said.
She said all political parties were expected to ensure that their candidates, cadres and supporters abided by the electoral regulations, including the code of conduct.
She said it was unacceptable that at this stage of Zambia’s democracy, stakeholders should blatantly disregard the code of conduct as had been exhibited by some political party supporters and cadres by inciting and perpetrating violence.
Justice Mambilima said it was the responsible of the Political parties participating in elections to restrain their members and cadres from provoking their opponents and inciting violence.
She said it was also the responsibility of the Zambia Police Service to ensure perpetrators of violence and anyone caught abrogating the electoral code of conduct was dealt with firmly without fear or favour, irrespective of which political party they belonged.
The Commission hoped it would see an improvement in the electoral environment forthwith as Zambians only hadone country which should they should guard together with the hard earned democracy.
And Justice Mambilima has said that there shall be no political party campaigns in form of political party rallies, meetings and door-to-door campaigns between today and March 14, 2013 as the campaign period ended on February 26,2013.
She said Political Parties would only be permitted to campaign using the Print and Electronic media and that the Commission would also publicise the election date to the electorate in Livingstone through mobile publicity, print and electronic media.