Donors implored to strengthen political parties

THE Zambia Centre for Inter-party Dialogue (ZCID) has appealed to the international community to strengthen political parties to achieve a sensible democratic system in the country.

ZCID executive director Horrance Chilando said political parties were key stakeholders in good electoral system and that they should be supported.

He said in an interview yesterday that failure to finance political parties has compiled some political organisations to engage in wrong activities.

“Political parties are at the centre of election and if you have political parties that are not strong enough, you cannot talk about sensible democratic election. That is why you find political parties do the wrong thing because there are not strong.

“There are supporting ECZ and electoral system but at the same time they are ignoring those political parties they also need to be supported somehow,” Mr Chilando said.

He said political party development in Zambia was not prioritised and that it was time to change the approach.

Mr Chilando said cooperating partners have been funding civil society organizations (CSOs) for civil education but stressed that election was not about CSOs and their activities alone.

He said stakeholders expected the country to have a credible electoral system with inputs from political parties and yet they did not support them.

Mr Chilando said cooperating partners have been supporting the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) but sidelined political parties.

He said the cooperating partners should drift from thinking that it was civil society organisations that could make election credible.

“If you are preparing for credible election and allow political players in the playing field not to be prepared, then you are preparing for a disaster,” Mr Chilando said.

He said cooperating partners should also consider deploying local observers team under the interparty arrangement to add credence to election results. Mr Chilando said when political parties were deployed under the interparty arrangement, they would be able to censure themselves and resolve issues on their own in the field.


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