It is difficult to say whether 2011 elections were free and fair – SACCORD

Boniface Cheembe
Boniface Cheembe
The Southern African Center for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) has observed that in view of the unprecedented number of nullified Parliamentary seats that has followed the 2011 general elections it is difficult to say whether the elections were free and fair or not.

The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has already observed that the 2011 general elections have been undermined by the number of by-elections that have been held arising from the nullification of some Parliamentary seats.

And SACCORD Executive Director Boniface Cheembe has observed that whenever an election is characterized by malpractices as the Courts have revealed that some of the National Assembly elections whose results had been nullified had been characterized with, such elections cannot be considered free and fair.

Mr. Cheembe has however told Qfm news that his organization can neither agree nor disagree with the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) position that the 2011 general elections were free and fair.

The SACCORD Executive Director has however advised that there is need for the ECZ and other stakeholders to convene a meeting where the 2011 general elections should be critically assessed as to whether intended they were free and fair or not.

He has suggested that if the country is to minimize malpractices during elections it is important to seriously address issues that the Courts of law have advanced for nullifying Parliament seats from the 2011 general elections.