The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) says it still holds the position that the 2011 general elections were free and fair despite the many nullification of Parliamentary seats that have arisen from the polls.
ECZ Chairperson Irene Mambilima says for an election to be judged free and fair, one need to look at the full cycle of an election process that includes having a credible voters’ register, people conducting campaign freely and electorates going out to vote without being intimidated to vote in a certain way.
Justice Mambilima this is why as far as other stakeholders that monitored the general election were concerned, the 2011 polls were free and fair as the commission believes it had a credible voters’ register, people were free to campaign and that people came out in great numbers to vote their minds.
Speaking at media luncheon in Lusaka this afternoon, Justice Mambilima has also stated that the nullification of elections results of some Parliamentary seats that have come after the 2011 general election is not the Commission’s concern.
She says this is because in most of the cases the grounds of nullification bordered mostly on corrupt activities and vote buying vices which she says are beyond the commission.
And Justice Mambilima has disclosed that preparations for the 2016 general elections are on course.
She says besides conducting voter education across the country, the commission has also already prepared a report to propose to political parties on how it will go about the elections in the event that constituencies are increase from the current 150 seats before the 2016 polls.
Justice Mambilima has also maintained if the government printers or any other printing company does not meet the standards required to print ballot papers locally by 2016, the ECZ will have no choice but to print the ballot papers outside the country.