The Human Rights Commission has commended participating Political parties, their supporters and the Police in Roan and Bahati Constituency for adhering to the provisions of the Public Order Act ahead of today’s parliamentary by-elections.
Human Rights Commission spokesperson Mwelwa Muleya says preliminary observations by the Commission have revealed that the campaigns in Roan and Bahati Constituencies have been generally peaceful and has called for continued restraint from interfering with the right of the electorate to vote.
Mr. Muleya said the Commission has been on the ground monitoring the election campaigns in both Roan and Bahati Constituencies and has observed that all participating political parties were to a large extent allowed to freely campaign.
He said the Zambia Police Service has respected the Right to Freedom of Assembly and professionally played its role of maintaining law and order in line with their constitutional and legal obligations and mandates.
Mr. Muleya said the Commission particularly noted with a sense of encouragement that the police refrained from the bad practice of imposing total restrictions to the right of the opposition to conduct meetings whenever either the Republican or the Vice Republican Presidents were in an area.
He said one of the best practices in facilitating peaceful campaigns in Roan and Bahati Constituencies has been the facilitation of political dialogue by the police and the Electoral Commission of Zambia to either prevent or resolve any emerging or potential conflict in the campaign schedules and the willingness by political parties to respect the law.
Mr. Muleya said the peaceful campaigns further confirm the fact that fundamental democratic principles of non-violence, co-existence, tolerance, mutual respect and respect for human rights and freedoms as required in a multi-party democracy and pluralistic society, were possible in Zambia.
He has since called on everyone to continue restraining themselves from engaging in unlawful activities that have the potential to undermine the prevailing peaceful campaigns and the right of the electorate to vote for their preferred candidates on 11th April 2019.