The UPND welcomes the announcement of the upcoming voter registration program by the Electoral Commission of Zambia. Ahead of the exercise we are ready to work alongside the ECZ, civil society and other political parties to ensure information regarding the locations and timings for registration is shared across the length and breadth of the country.
Given Zambia’s young and vibrant population we expect a large number of new voters will be able to register, many of whom were sadly unable to vote in the recent presidential by-elections due to the timeline being too short to register new voters.
We urge young Zambians to take note of the details for registration and ensure they are in possession of a green NRC card that is required to register. As our youth represent the future of Zambia we encourage everyone who is eligible to take the opportunity to register so that in 2016 they can decide for themselves which political party offers the best prospect for Zambia’s future.
In recent years the large number of elections and the failure of Government to deliver on its promises have resulted in voter apathy. For example, in the recent Chawama parliamentary by-election only 16% of registered voters turned out. However, through electoral reform and delivery of a new constitution the UPND believes we can reduce the need for numerous additional by-elections and thereby save precious Government revenues that would be better spent on improving education and healthcare.
We urge Zambians not to lose all hope in the ability of elected officials to commit themselves to serving the people rather than their personal interests, and we encourage all eligible Zambians to participate in the exercise so they can be ready to vote for change come 2016.
We are also pleased to note the nominations have finally been made to fill vacant positions at the ECZ. We look forward to cooperating with the Chairperson and Commissioners on matters of voter registration, voter education and ensuring a free and fair general election in 2016.