From: ZANIS News <[email protected]>
UPND saddened by PF’s withdrawal from commitment document
Lusaka, February, 07, ZANIS…The opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) has expressed regret at the decision by the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) to withdrawn its signature from a document pledging violent free campaigns and elections in Livingstone and Mpongwe parliamentary by-elections.
Party Deputy Spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa said it was sad that the PF refused to commit itself to a document adding that this stance is contrary to the demands of the electoral practices in Zambia.
Mr. Mweetwa told ZANIS in an interview in Lusaka that the move by the ruling party was not to the best interest of the Zambia people.
He said Zambians do not embrace violence during elections because they want to choose their leaders in a peaceful manner.
He explained that the document was non-legal and it only demands that all political parties that are participating in the by-elections should denounce violence during and after their campaigns in the forthcoming elections in Livingstone and Mpongwe in Southern and Copperbelt provinces.
Mr. Mweetwa said UPND remained committed to non violent campaigns and elections not only in Livingstone and Mpongwe but even in the future elections.
The other political parties taking part in the Livingstone and Mpongwe by-elections are MMD and UPND which have since appended their signatures to a document pledging violent free elections.
Some PF officials in Livingstone had signed the commitment document without consulting their superiors hence the withdrawal of the signature on Tuesday.
Southern province PF secretary Brian Hapunda announced the PF’s withdrawal of the signature from a document it had earlier signed to commit the party and other parties to conduct violence-free campaigns in Livingstone and Mpongwe.
Mr. Hapunda said the PF has been a victim and not a culprit in previous political violence hence it did not need to commit itself to the document.
He accused UPND of being behind violent attacks on PF in Rufunsa and Livingstone by-elections last year.