Our role isn’t to bar candidates-ECZ

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The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has said it will leave the issue of barring candidates, who earlier lost their parliamentary seats through nullifications, to political parties and the courts.

ECZ Senior Public Relations Officer Sylvia Bwalya said the role of the ECZ was to regulate and supervise the electoral process in the country and not to determine who should not contest because of corruption.

Ms. Bwalya was responding to questions on what the commission would do to political parties that are proposing to adopt candidates whose parliamentary seats were nullified by the Supreme Court in 2013 as a result of corrupt practices during their 2011 pre-election campaigns.

She told ZANIS that it was up to concerned parties to complain against certain individuals whose seats were nullified because of alleged corruption in their campaigns.

The ECZ has since set February 25, 2014 for parliamentary by-elections in Solwezi Central, Mkushi South, Kasenengwa and Katuba constituencies.

The Solwezi Central seat, which was held by Lucky Mulusa of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), Mkushi South seat whose Member of Parliament (MP) was Sydney Chisanga (MMD), Kasenengwa seat, which belonged to Victoria Kalima of the MMD, were nullified because of corruption in the pre-election campaigns in 2011 general polls.

The Katuba constituency by-election was necessitated by the death of the incumbent Member of Parliament Patrick Chikusu recently.

The MMD has so far hinted that it will adopt Lucky Mulusa and Sydney Chisanga to recontest Solwezi Central and Mkushi South parliamentary seats respectively.

And the UPND is said to be courting Jonas Shakafuswa for the Katuba by-election.

Meanwhile, Ms. Bwalya explained that the commission was well prepared to conduct the four parliamentary by-elections on February 25, 2014.

She said the commission has no challenges in terms of preparing for the February 25, 2014 by-elections in the four constituencies.