Operation Young Vote (OYV) has charged that Zambia might as well go to early polls because the Patriotic Front (PF) is already campaigning.
OYV executive director Guess Nyirenda said, “It is unexplainable why the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) is running political/campaign adverts in the media when the next General/Tripartite Elections are not expected anytime sooner. The country is not in a campaign period for the PF to be running adverts on radio and elsewhere about President Edgar Lungu. This should send a message to all stakeholders in the electoral process to begin positioning themselves for an early poll unless the PF is able to explain to the stakeholders and citizens in general why it should run a close to 10 minutes jingle in the media.”
Mr Nyirenda said according to the laws and rules of engagement in the electoral process, such campaign messages are only allowed during the electoral campaign.
“If the PF has started campaigning for its candidate in the 2016 Presidential Election, H.E. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the Election Day may as well be announced so that the other political parties start doing the same for their candidates if the playing field is to be leveled.”
He said it is undemocratic to want to catch other players including stakeholders such as opposition political parties and civic society organizations in an election in a democratic society whose values include the rule of law and fair play.
“OYV is of the considered conclusion that since the said paid for political adverts by the PF are already running in the media President Lungu should henceforth dissolve Parliament and call for the Tripartite Election so that all stakeholders are on the same footing. The continuous running of the said political advert by the PF is notification that the country is in the campaign period, as outside the campaign period no such political adverts are condoned as stipulated in Section 27 and Section 8 of the Electoral Act and Electoral Code of Conduct respectively.”