ECZ to end the campaign period if
Lusaka January, 09, 2015, ZANIS — The Electoral Commission of Zambia(ECZ) says it will end the campaign period before the scheduled date if political violence and intolerance persists.
The commission has also advised the Zambia Police Service to ensure that perpetrators of violence adding that anyone found abrogating the Electoral code of conduct should be dealt with firmly irrespective of political affiliation.
ZANIS reports that this is contained in the statement made available by Electoral Commission of Zambia Public Relation Manager Crispin N. Akufuna released in Lusaka, today.
Mr. Akufuna said the commission will soon convene a meeting with all the participating political parties, church and all concerned stakeholders to chart a way forward on the ugly scourge of violence.
He said political party leaders have great responsibility to lead by example by promoting tolerance and peace.
He added that political leaders of respective parties should lead in setting the tone in leveling the playing field for free and fair elections by retraining their members and cadres from provoking their opponent and inciting violence.
Mr. Akufuna has also condemned the endorsements by some traditional leaders of some candidates which may exert undue influence on their subjects.
He said endorsement of some candidates by traditional leaders is an abrogation of section 129 of the Republican Constitution, which states that “ a person shall not while remaining a chief join or partisan politics.
Mr. Akufuna said the commission is disappointed with the endorsement that has continued despite its recent efforts to engage traditional leaders on the importance of being non-partisan and the need for them to desist from intimidating their subject during campaigns.
Mr. Akufuna has urged all stakeholders to conduct themselves responsibly within the law as the country prepare for the presidential election on January 20, 2015.
Recently pockets of violence have been reported in parts of the country ahead of the January 20 Presidential By-elections.
The elections follows the untimely death of fifth Republican President Micheal Sata who died in a London Hospital after an illness.