Political commentators Dante Saunders and Stanley Muhango has called for the enhancement of intra party democracy within political parties.
Speaking when the two featured on radio Phoenix’s Let the People Talk program Mr Muhango said political parties as major stakeholders in the democratic dispensation of the country should practice intraparty democracy before they even aspire to form government.
He noted that it is folly for people to expect a party which does not respect its own rules to follow the rules when in power.
“If we are going to talk about democracy we need to ensure that the Political parties who are stakeholders should be able to adhere to the democratic principles even within their political parties.
How do you expect a person who does not respect human rights, how do you expect a person who has no respect for constitutionalism for their own constitution within the party to come and respect the national constitution more especially with power being challenged,” he said.
He also said the constitution should have compelled political parties to practice intraparty democracy as opposed to just giving it as a right.
He said the current constitution says political parties have the right to practice democracy but did not compel them to do so something he said would have discouraged office bearers from hanging on to positions indefinitely.
Meanwhile Mr Saunders said it is difficult for political parties to establish themselves properly hence leaders hanging to their positions for a long time.
He said parties become almost personal to holder because when parties grow people come with ill intentions which may end up destroying the party because of one not appreciating the efforts a leader had scarified.
Mr Saunders has said that the electoral commission needs more powers to punish political parties if political violence is to be curbed.
Mr Saunders said the ECZ in its current form is just a spectator when it is body that is suppose to be regulating political violence in conjunction with the Zambia police.
He said if ECZ was given mandate to institute punitive measures such as disqualifying political parties found wanting, parties would not perpetuate political violence with impunity.
“I would like to see a situation were the ECZ is given the kind of powers they need to maintain law and order in the electoral system of any election, be it by election or general election. I would like to the ECZ to be given the same powers as that of the electoral body of South Africa which has enough powers, it has enough powers that it was able to disqualify the ruling party from participating in an election until it sorted out its violent activities,” he said.
He said the country needs to agree to empower ECZ if the nation is to deal with political violence successfully.
He said the country needs a number of issues in the electoral process to be taken off the courts and live them with the electoral body so as to avoid petitions every time country has elections.