No single province can win Presidency, says Nawakwi

FDD president Edith Nawakwi says there is no single province in Zambia which can win a Presidential election and govern the country without the help of other provinces.

And FDD has rejected the decision by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to electronically transmit the results of the presidential election next week because the opposition political party was not consulted and fear that there is a danger that the results may be manipulated.

And Ms. Nawakwi has challenged Presidential candidates that are looking down on her on account of her gender to produce their Curriculum Vitae (CVs) for people to judge.

She said Southern Province will remain in opposition for decades if their leaders continued to preach tribalism. Speaking when she addressed a rally in Monze on Wednesday, Ms Nawakwi observed that the province has for the last 15 years voted for UPND but the party continued to be in opposition which was an indication that it needed the support from other provinces to govern.

“I hear one of the leaders told people in this province that it is your duty to vote for him because he is your brother, please reject such statements because you can’t just vote for someone because of tribe,” she said.

And Ms. Nawakwi has challenged candidates telling people not to vote for her because she is a woman to produce their CVs and compare with hers for people to judge who is the most qualified to take up the nation’s top job.

She said she served as minister for 10 years and as MP for two different constituencies for 15 years something no other candidates among the 11 candidates could boast of.

And FDD spokesperson Antonio Mwanza said the commission had earlier announced that the electronic transmission of the election results was a pilot project that was not going to be employed in the presidential election next week and wondered why there had been a sudden change of mind.

Mr Mwanza told the Daily Nation that the ECZ should not have made a unilateral decision to implement the transmission of the presidential results electronically without an agreement and consensus from the participating political parties.

He said the electronic transmission of the presidential results had at first been rejected because there was a danger that the results could be manipulated and maintained that the position of his party was that the results should be transmitted manually as was the case with the previous elections.

He said there was an agreement between the political parties and the commission to maintain the use of the manual system of transmitting the presidential results and that ECZ needed to call the political parties for discussion before announcing its decision to implement a pilot project in the coming election.

“There was an agreement between ECZ and the political parties that the presidential results were going to be transmitted manually in this election because the electronic transmission was a pilot project.

As FDD, we will not accept that the presidential results to be electronically transmitted because we have not been consulted.

We appreciate the difficulties and pressure the ECZ is going through but we feel it is not correct to unilaterally implement a pilot project without consulting participating political parties. There is a danger that the system can be hacked and ECZ will fail to protect the results,” Mr Mwanza said.

And PF secretary general Davis Chama said his party was going to reject the system if it was not going to be proved to be efficient and effective.

Mr Chama said the commission had called for a meeting with political parties but wondered why ECZ went ahead to implement the electronic transmission of results without consulting stakeholders.

He said he was worried that there was danger that the opposition political parties would not be able to accept the electronic transmission of the results for fear that there could be an attempt to rig.

“We need to study the system before we can agree on it.

We may reject a system that may be more effective if ECZ does not tell us how it is going to work.

We are having a meeting tomorrow (today) and it will be difficult for me to give you a comprehensive response. We have confidence in the ECZ and we do not think there will be a way of manipulating the results. We need to study the system before accepting or rejecting it,” Mr Chama said.

Efforts to get comments from the United Party for National Development (UPND) and the MMD failed by press time.

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