Some stakeholders have called on the Electoral Commission of Zambia to be more flexible during the filing in of nominations.
Speaking in separate interviews SACCORD Executive Director Boniface Cheembe and YALI President Andrew Ntewewe said ECZ should not be rigid when dealing with candidates who had reported late for nomination due to various reasons because the commission risks looking biased when it does not allow for dialogue.
Mr Cheembe said though the commission should not be blamed, it is only reasonable it considers accommodating those failed to file in their nomination and allow them to participate in the electoral process.
“When time is not fulfilled it delays others who want to file in their nominations. Clearly this is an issue that has to be addressed because unfortunately as Africans we have a problem with time keeping therefore as SACCORD we would like to appeal to ECZ to consider accommodating those who come within 30minutes of their time elapsing so as to take in part of our culture which is that of coming late.
“It maybe helpful to perhaps be a bit more flexible and allow those who failed to file in their nomination to do so and avoid a situation were they start engage in accusations directed at the electoral body as being unfair and not flexible,” he said.
He added that ECZ should not allow the situation to question their credibility.
And Mr Ntewewe said ECZ should be firm but flexible when the situation requires them to do so especially that the country will be holding elections under a new constitution.
He said the country’s electoral body has been praised as being the best in the region hence the sport light will be once more on them as stakeholders in the region would want to learn something from them.
He said it is incumbent on the ECZ to ensure that they exhibit high levels of professionalism and ensure that the institution is seen to be independent.
He said it is only fair that if some candidates who are delayed due to various reasons are attended to by polling agents if they are still at the civic.
He said polling stations usually don’t close while voters are still in a queue waiting to vote hence the same should be extended to candidates.
The duo however called on political parties to put their houses in order saying the same behavior can be extended to public offices when elected.
Yesterday a number of Mayoral candidates from FDD and MMD failed to file their nominations after arriving late at the various civic centers something that led to FDD leader Edith Nawakwi storming the ECZ offices at 18hours were she engaged into a verbal spat with ECZ Chairperson Esau Chulu.