THE Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG) has called on political parties planning to challenge the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) over the results of the general elections to respect the independence of the judiciary and refrain from applying undue political pressure on court proceedings.
CCMG said in a statement signed by Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) executive director Pukuta Mwanza, Susanne Matale, the secretary general of the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ), spokesperson of the Zambia Episcopal Conference Fr Cleophas Lungu and Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) executive director Fr Leonard Chiti that it appreciated the fact that ECZ made efforts to make polling station results available to the public in a quicker manner than in past elections.
The quartet has since called upon all political stakeholders to provide the court with evidence and respect its process while pursuing a just result by peaceful means.
“We call on the Court to provide all sides of the challenge with a fair and full hearing in accordance with the best practices of due process of law, and upon an impartial determination, should the evidence demonstrate
that remedies are required, that its judgment provides effective remedies to redress the circumstances,” CCMG members said.
The CCMG observed that the 2016 electoral process encompassed the resolution of petition challenges before the final outcome of an election was resolved.
CCMG said it was going to monitor the UPND petition process before the court until the matter was disposed of.
It said it would equally continue to monitor developments in the immediate post-election environment and compare the ECZ’s reported results with those recorded by its monitors.
CCMG conducted a comprehensive review of pre-election environment and raised concerns about serious flaws in the electoral environment that, while not negating the possibility for the overall process to be credible.
“When election results present very slim margins of differences in votes won, such flaws may become more important, and we will take the total process into account when we issue our final report and recommendations. CCMG, therefore, affirms that its PVT estimates for the presidential election were consistent with the ECZ’s official result,” CCMG said.
The ECZ’s official results fall within the range of CCMG’s PVT estimates indicating that the results announced by the ECZ reflect the ballots cast at polling streams and polling stations and therefore, President Lungu re-election was credible.