The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has urged political parties to halt premature celebrations of electoral victory in Thursday’s elections as it has potential to escalate violence.
FODEP Executive Director George Chimembe appealed to the political party leaders to urge their supporters to immediately cease premature celebrations.
He said if left unchecked the celebrations can cause chaos if verified results do not meet the expectations of the political party celebrating electoral victory.
ZANIS reports that Mr Chimembe said the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) must be given the space to work and deliver results of Thursday’s general elections.
He urged stakeholders to halt publishing of Parallel Voter Tabulation (PVT) and let the electoral body announce verified election results.
Mr Chimembe said announcing election results is the sole mandate of the ECZ and not any other organization.
He said the ECZ should be commended for holding credible elections and as the country’s electoral integrity has been sustained.
“ECZ has done a commendable job with the elections, they may have been overwhelmed by crowds but electoral integrity has been maintained” said Mr Chimembe.
Mr Chimembe commended Zambians for the massive voter turnout as it indicated commitment to constitutional duty and responsibility of choosing a government.
He regretted that the August 12 polls were marred by pockets of political violence which degenerated into death of one person and injury to another.
He said the deployment of military personnel should be commended as it helped to ensure that political violence did not escalate.
“The deployment of security forces strengthened security during elections. It has helped avoid violence which could have escalated” said Mr Chimembe.
Mr Chimembe regretted that there was internet and social media shutdown on poll day as it infringed on people’s freedom of information and affected operations and communication of electoral stakeholders.
The FODEP Executive Director praised the media for fairly and objectively covering the August 12 polls.