Be realistic, presidential candidates told

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The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has appealed to the 11 presidential candidates jostling for the January 20, 2015 presidential election to be realistic with their promises.

FODEP Executive Director MacDonald Chipenzi said it would not augur well for the presidential aspirants to give a basket of promises which they may fail to achieve.

Mr. Chipenzi said in an interview with ZANIS in Lusaka today that it was imperative that the presidential candidates are sincere with the things they promise the public.

He also urged all the presidential aspirants to provide quality leadership that will inspire the people once elected into power.

The FODEP chief stated that the person who will be elected to the office of president after the January 20 elections should endeavour to be a servant and not a master of the people that put him or her in office.

And Mr. Chipenzi has commended all the presidential candidates that are participating in the January 20 presidential elections for sticking to issue based campaigns as opposed to character assassinations which was a trend in past elections.

He noted with delight that for the first time in the history of the country’s politics, campaigns ahead of the forthcoming presidential elections have been devoid of name calling.

He added that the aspiring candidates have stuck to telling people areas of human endeavour they intend to improve.

Mr. Chipenzi said this was good and encouraging adding that if this trend was enhanced, Zambia’s democracy would be an enviable process not only in the Southern African region but the continent at large.

He however challenged the presidential aspirants to explain to the people how they intend to implement the promises they have pledged to achieve.

He also encouraged the electorates to attend rallies being held by all the 11 participating political parties in the presidential elections in order to hold them accountable for the promises they will give.

Meanwhile, Mr. Chipenzi has appealed to the Ministry of Education to consider extending the report period for teachers who may have to travel to areas where they registered in 2011 to be allowed to cast their vote.

He stated that it was possible that some teachers who registered for the 2011 elections may have been transferred to other locations and may therefore not be able to vote because the voting period comes at a time when schools have opened.

Mr. Chipenzi said it would be prudent for government to consider this proposal as it will help to cut on voter apathy that is likely to be experienced in the January 20, 2015 presidential elections.

On the endorsement of candidates by traditional leaders as preferred aspirants for the presidential elections, the FODEP Executive Director said there was nothing wrong for a chief in his individual capacity to endorse their preferred person.

He however stated that the endorsement becomes wrong if a chief persuades his subjects to vote for a particular candidate because of his preference.

Mr. Chipenzi has meanwhile, called on the electorates to turn up enmass and vote for a candidate of their choice in the January 20, 2015 presidential elections.

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