CSO’s call for postponement of Livingstone and Mpongwe by elections
Lusaka, February 27, ZANIS —Seven Civil Society Organisations have called on the Electoral Commissions of Zambia (ECZ) to postpone the Livingstone and Mpongwe by-elections scheduled for tomorrow to another date saying the current atmosphere is not conducive for holding elections.
The seven organisations namely; Zambia Center for Inter-Party Dialogue (ZCID), Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Anti-Voter Apathy Project (AVAP), Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP), Southern African center for Constructive, Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) Operation Young Vote (OYV) said this in a statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka today.
The organisations stated that Section 28, the Electoral Act, No. 12 gives the ECZ power to defer elections to another date if the atmosphere is not conducive for holding peaceful, free and fair elections.
They further said there was no doubt that the Mpongwe and Livingstone by elections will not be peaceful as the political atmosphere in the two districts is still tense.
The organisations said should the by-elections go ahead; there will be a low turn up of voters due to fear of harassment, leading to the constituencies having Members of Parliament elected by a number of the electorate.
They stated that both in Livingstone and Mpongwe, the electoral code of conduct was breached and alleged that police exhibited a laisez -faire attitude through the whole ordeal.
The Organizations said it is sad that police have continued to be reactive in the face of electoral violence rather than being proactive.
The Seven Organisations have since called for the immediate resignation of Dr. Solomon Jere as Deputy Inspector General of Police, in order to restore public confidence in the law enforcement body.