THIRTEEN Patriotic Front (PF) members have applied for adoption as parliamentary candidates for the Solwezi West seat while nine intend to contest the Lubansenshi parliamentary by-election on the ruling party’s ticket.
PF chairperson for elections Emmanuel Mpakata said in an interview yesterday that the party has already conducted interviews at constituency and district levels for candidates wishing to contest the Solwezi West parliamentary seat.
“Interviews for the district and constituency in Solwezi West have already taken place. We are remaining with the provincial ones coming on Wednesday next week,” Mr Mpakata said.
The Solwezi West parliamentary seat fell vacant after the death of Humphrey Mwanza while the Lubansenshi poll has been necessitated by the Supreme Court’s nullification of the election of Patrick Mucheleka.
Mr Mpakata said district, constituency and provincial interviews for the Lubansenshi seat will be concluded by Saturday this week.
The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has set September 24 as the day for the by-election.
And the United Party for National Development (UPND) says it will contest the Solwezi West and Lubansenshi parliamentary seats while the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) will only contest the Lubansenshi seat.
UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma said in an interview yesterday that the opposition party is in the process of identifying candidates to contest the two parliamentary by-elections.
“We are in the process of identifying people to participate but for Lubansenshi, if Patrick Mucheleka will be interested to work with UPND, then we can work with him,” he said.
FDD spokesperson Antonio Mwanza said the party will by Thursday next week select a candidate to contest the Lubansenshi by-election.
Mr Mwanza said the FDD national policy committee is currently scrutinising candidates to contest the seat.
“By next week, we will have a name of a candidate in the Lubansenshi by-election but we will not be participating in the Solwezi west parliamentary by-election,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Mucheleka claimed the people of Lubansenshi feel cheated because he won the parliamentary seat and he was surprised by the Supreme Court’s nullification of his election.
“I will make a statement in the next few days about my next course of action. Right now, I am reflecting on what happened,” he said.