The hiked presidential nomination fee has given room for the two top political parties to compete without much interference, Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has said.
YALI president Andrew Ntewewe said the United Party for National Development (UPND) and the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) were the only parties capable of winning this year’s elections and the rest should consider rallying behind them.
‘’The problem is that we have had people that form a political party today and tomorrow they want to run for presidency; this is what we as YALI term as jokers. Why not support the candidates that are already there, because it is an open secret that we have two contenders for the presidency, even a child will tell you if you do a simple survey they will tell you that it is either Edgar Lungu or Hakainde Hichilema, why are we failing to accept that ?” Mr Ntewewe asked.
He explained that such leadership could no longer be supported as the new Constitution demanded a popular president.
He added that elections were very expensive and couldn’t afford to embrace political games.
“The spirit of the new Constitution is such that people who aspire for presidency must be popular and acceptable,” he explained.
Mr Ntewewe said issues like those of the national voters register which each presidential candidate had to be given was draining tax payer’s money with the mushrooming of many parties.
He also noted that requirements such as ferrying polling assistants from every political party to observe the ballot paper printing process was costly hence the cutting down on the numbers of candidates would be cost effective.
He said the required k75,000 000 fee for an aspiring presidential candidate would filter all smaller political parties to pave way for serious parties to contest.
Mr Ntewewe said the fee was a way for aspiring candidates to contribute to the running of elections which was expensive.
He said there were a lot of costs associated to the preparation of elections which needed sharing.