THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has urged the Zambia police command in Livingstone to be flexible with all political parties participating in the Livingstone parliamentary by election.
ECZ Commissioner Justice Judge Christopher Mushabati says that political parties taking part in the Livingstone by election might not have notified the police about their campaigns but should be allowed to start campaigns immediately after filling in their nomination.
Judge Mushabati also noted that the three weeks which have been given as a campaign period was not adequate for political parties to meet the people of Livingstone.
“I want to urge the police command here to be flexible with political parties, I know they might not have given the seven days notice but you should allow them to campaign since campaigns starts after nominations.” Judge Mushabati said.
Speaking during a stakeholders briefing in Livingstone on Wednesday, Judge Mushabati said that police should also give equal protection to all political parties.
Judge Mushabati said that the success and credibility of any election depends on the stakeholders’ conduct which includes the police, media, political parties, civil society organization and the ECZ.
He said that the ECZ cannot conduct an election without the participation of all stakeholders adding that stakeholders play an important role.
Judge Mushabati said that it was therefore important for all stakeholders to familiarize themselves with the electoral code of conduct to avoid violating it as is law.
“The success and credibility of any election depends on the stakeholders’ conduct. ECZ cannot conduct an election without the participation of you stakeholders because you play an important role.”JudgeMushabati said.
“It is therefore important for all stakeholders to familiarize yourselves with the electoral code of conduct to avoid violating it as it is law.” He said.
He appealed to political parties to avoid being confrontational, name calling and threatening one another during their campaigns because it will scare the voters.
“Am sure you people come from Malota and you live together so why should you start fighting each other, you are one people.” Judge Mushabati said.
The ECZ Commissioner has also urged political parties to pick the right people to represent them in the polling stations.
Judge Mushabati further reminded political parties that it is the responsibilities of political parties to pay election agents and not the ECZ.
“I also want to urge you to pick the right people to represent you in the polling stations. The payment of agents is the responsibilities of political parties and not the commission.” He said.
And District Electoral Officer Vivian Chikoti has urged political parties participating in the Livingstone by election to conduct themselves in an elderly manner.
Ms. Chikoti said that it is the responsibility of every citizen to ensure the elections are conducted in a free and fairly manner.