ZCTU hails postponement of Livingstone By-elections

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ZCTU hails postponement of Livingstone By-elections

Ndola, February 28, 2013 ZANIS – The Zambia Congress of Trade Unions [ZCTU] has joined sections of society supporting the postponement of the Livingstone By-elections that were to be held today.

ZCTU Secretary General, Roy Mwaba says the postponing of the Livingstone by-elections by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is justifiable.

Mr. Mwaba says the postponing  was timely  as it is going to allow the creation of a conducive atmosphere for peaceful voting, following the high levels of intolerance among political parties.  

ZANIS reports that the ZCTU Secretary General said in a telephone interview in Ndola, today.

He said that the postponement of the Livingstone by-elections is a good decision as it is going to give room for voters to sober up as some are injured and mourning following the death of a PF cadre Harrison Chanda.

Mr. Mwaba said this period will enable people to get off all emotions that would have caused them to vote out of frustration causing unfair elections.

He  added that although the postponing was unfortunate, Zambia as a democratic country needed its people to feel free and safe when voting.

He further urged all the political parties to improve their dialogue towards each other in order to have a peaceful and conducive environment.

He said the opposition parties should put their differences with the ruling party aside and ensure that they respect the president at all times because he is not only the president of the patriotic front party but the president of Zambian.

Mr. Mwaba further appealed to the government to create a conducive environment during this period which will enable people to vote freely on the postponed date March 14, 2013.

He also urged the police to stretch security measures to ensure that all political parties comply with the ECZ’s directive of not conducting any sort of campaigns.

Mr. Mwaba said if all political parties comply and respect each other at a certain limit, hostility towards each other would no longer be today’s worry.

Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) President Dr Nevers Mumba says the decision by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to postpone the Livingstone Central parliamentary by-elections has been made to tone down the tension in Livingstone.

But the PF have condemned the move by the ECZ and accused the commission of preying in the hands on UPND.

Mumba said although the former ruling party was ready to go to the polls tomorrow, the campaign team had welcomed the development.

"It has been unfortunate development because we campaign hoping to vote tomorrow. We were ready and we were confident that we would pull it off tomorrow," he said.

"Our hope is that the ECZ did the assessment that the situation in Livingstone was such that an election could not take place, if they did that assessment, then we are sure that the decision has been made to allow the tension to die down,"

Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) had cancelled today’s  parliamentary by-election in Livingston owing to electoral related violence that has engulfed the tourist capital city.

ECZ Chairperson Irene Mambilima announced a press briefing in Lusaka today that the elections would instead take place on March 14, 2013.

She said the postponement of the by-election in Livingstone had been necessitated by the clashes between political party cadres that resulted in the death of a PF official.

“The decision to postpone the election and the new election date that has been set is in accordance with the Electoral Act of Zambia.”

“We also would like to appeal to all political parties to ensure that they maintain the international image that we hold violent free elections as a country,” she said.