Deferred election displeases PF

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The ruling Patriotic Front Campaign Manager in the postponed Livingstone constituency parliamentary by-election Obvious Mwaliteta has bemoaned the deferment of the polling date from today February 28 to March 14, 2013.

Mr Mwaliteta said the postponement of the election would not help stop violent activities in Livingstone because some political parties were allegedly resolved to shed blood.

He said the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) should have consulted main stakeholders, who are the political parties before deferring the elections.

"We want to express displeasure at the cancellation of the election by the Electoral Commission," he said at a press briefing in Livingstone last evening.

Earlier in the day, the ECZ announced the postponement of the Livingstone constituency parliamentary by-election due to unprecedented levels of violence and intolerance among contesting political parties.

ECZ Chairperson, Ireen Mambilima said the security situation in Livingstone did not appear conducive enough to guarantee free and fair elections.

Mr Mwaliteta said the PF was ready for the election and was certain of victory.

He said the only fear his party had was that PF members’ lives might continue to be in danger between now and poll day, March 14, 2013.

He wondered why the ECZ did not defer elections when a PF member, Menyani Zulu died during a ward by-election in Rufunsa last year.

Mr Mwaliteta has since appealed to party members to remain calm and wait for the election day.

Livingstone has experienced unprecedented violence which led to the death of Monze PF District Vice Chairman, Harrison Chanda on February 25, 2013.

This led to the arrest of UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema, UPND Campaign Manager in Livingstone Garry Nkombo, Kalomo Member of Parliament (MP) Request Muntanga, UPND Elections Chairman Ackson Sejani and several other party members.

The Livingstone parliamentary seat fell vacant after the then Member of Parliament, Howard Sikwela resigned from opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) citing hostility from party senior members.

The seat is being contested by PF’s Lawrence Evans, UPND’s Regina Musokotwane, Fred Siasuntwe of the opposition Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) and Green Mwanang’ombe of United National Independence Party (UNIP).

ECZ has however allowed the Mpongwe constituency by-election to go ahead today.