CLAIMS that the 2016 general elections will be rigged are a sign that the opposition political parties are expecting humiliating defeat and are manufacturing reasons to reject the results of the elections and justify their loss, the Patriotic Front (PF) has said.
The ruling party said President Edgar Lungu had virtually chocked the ambitions of the opposition political parties to take over the governance of the country by his focused and visionary speech delivered to the 5th Session of the 11th National Assembly last week.
PF secretary general Davis Chama said the opposition had been left politically bemused by President Lungu’s motivational, inspirational and memorable speech that gave Zambians hope in the face of difficult economic times.
Mr Chama said the PF of President Lungu was far different from the PF of the last few years because its politics was based on scientific analysis of the political environment and the feedback from the electorate.
Mr Chama said Zambia’s electoral system was one of the most transparent in the region and that it was extremely difficult to manipulate the votes because electoral contenders often were represented by their agents at every level of the election process.
Mr Chama told the Daily Nation that the opposition had realised that their chances of ever unseating the PF had become remote and had resorted to inventing reasons to discredit the electoral system and the results of the 2016 general elections.
He said Zambia had always conducted free and fair elections since the dawn of multi-party democracy and that was why the country had remained a shining example of democracy in Africa.
Mr Chama said the PF was once in the opposition and managed to oust the MMD which had been in power for two decades because rigging an election in Zambia was not an easy undertaking as the electoral process was too transparent to manipulate.
“President Edgar Lungu’s speech to the National Assembly has punctured and deflated the hopes of the opposition political parties of ever ousting the PF and President Lungu from government. The opposition have realised that their chances of ever defeating the PF next year have become remote and in their frustration, they have resorted to inventing reasons to discredit the 2016 general elections results and to have a baseless basis of rejecting the results of the elections. It is extremely difficult to rig elections in Zambia because the electoral process is to transparent to be manipulated. All the participating political parties will have their agents in all the polling stations and will be issued with certificates of the results at the same time. So our colleagues in the opposition have cried too soon because they have to hope of winning the elections,” Mr Chama said.
He said Zambia’s electoral system allowed the Parallel Voter Tabulations (PVT) and that all political parties were free to use the system and could know their fate even before the official announcement of the results.
Mr Chama said Zambia was using transparent ballot boxes to avoid any form of manipulation of the figures and advised that the opposition should protect their vote by recruiting as many agents to man all the polling stations during the general elections.
The PF chief executive claimed that the ruling party had taken over Western and North-Western Provinces which he said used to be dominated by the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) and predicted that the ruling party was going to win the general elections with a landslide.