OPPOSITION political parties have demanded that the August 11 general elections be postponed to allow for differences over several issues with the Electoral Commission of Zambia to be ironed out.

And ECZ chairperson Justice Esau Chulu said he had noted the demands,  and would revert to the opposition political parties on a later date.

Opposition political parties’ spokesperson Wynter Kabimba said the group had rejected the printing of ballot papers in Dubai and the holding of the referendum alongside the general elections.

Mr Kabimba also said the opposition political parties were apprehensive about the contents of the voters’ register because of the alleged registration of foreigners as voters.

The parties represented at the emergency meeting at Mika Convention Centre in Chongwe were the UPND, FDD, MMD, Rainbow Party, UNIP and others.

Mr Kabimba, who is Rainbow Party secretary general, said ECZ should convince political parties that foreigners would not be on the voters’ register.

He said the party leaders were also demanding that the issue of misallocation of voters detected so far be resolved.

The political parties also demanded that the ECZ should involve them in the transmission of election results to make the process transparent at every stage.

They appealed to ECZ to prevail over President Edgar Lungu to ensure that the referendum and the general elections were separated.

In reply, Justice Chulu said the demands of the opposition political parties could not be attended to immediately. He appealed to the opposition leaders to give the ECZ time.

Meanwhile, the ECZ has reversed its decision to disqualify newly registered voters from being nomination supporters and candidates.

The ECZ had resolved to use the provisional voters’ register as opposed to use the final voters’ register.  Commission secretary Erick Kamwi announced this after consultations when the matter almost disrupted the stakeholders’ meeting with political parties.

Mr Kamwi also announced that the ECZ would accept unverified academic certificates such as Grade 12. He, however, said such documents will be sent to the Examination Council of Zambia and other institutions for verification.

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