THE 130,000 registered voters with shared National Registration Cards (NRC) will be allowed to vote because it does not necessarily equate to future cases of voting irregularities but a simple administrative error of national administration which was not the fault of the card holders, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has said.
And the Commission yesterday officially lifted the 10 days suspension of political party campaigns that was invoked on July 9, 2016.
The Commission has also announced that the ballot papers for the referendum, mayoral, presidential and local government elections have all been printed as of today and that the posters for the referendum and mayoral elections had also been printed.
Speaking during a press briefing at Elections House, ECZ public relations manager Crispin Akufuna said the ballot papers were expected in the country by the end of July and that stakeholders would be invited to witness their arrival.
He said as for the ballot papers for the Members of Parliament (MPs) only 45 percent had been completed, adding that the printing process would be completed by today.
Meanwhile, Mr Akufuna has appealed for peaceful and violence-free campaigns in the remaining period after lifting the ban of campaigns in Namwala and Lusaka districts.
He said the Commission had since amended the peace accord and developed the addendum which would now be circulated to the participating political parties for their perusal and comments. “The Commission is glad the United Progressive People (UPP) is here this afternoon to state their comment to peaceful campaigns,” he said. UPP president Dr Saviour Chishimba officially appended his signature to the Peace treaty saying those who had refused to do so where being petty.
Meanwhile, Mr Akufuna said approximately 130, 000 cases of shared NRC will be allowed to vote and reminded stakeholders that shared NRC numbers did not fall under the responsibility of the ECZ.
He said since the Voter Register Audit (VRA) findings, the Commission has been working with the relevant departments to try to resolve as many of the findings as possible before the final certification of the voters register. “The Commission has been able to resolve the 2,555 cases where NRC numbers and other personal details correlated very closely by using its field agents. This includes the 492 records that share full registration details,” Mr Akufuna said.
He said the commission had also been working with NAPSA to remove a further approximate 10, 000 names of the deceased from the voter register.
“Any issues which ECZ did not have the time to resolve with the responsible government agencies before the certification of the register would be tackled as medium to long term measures after the elections. As a result of the above, Zambian voters should feel free and we can assure the electorate that the voter register provides the basis for free and transparent elections,” he said.