ELECTORAL Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairperson Irene Mambilima has appealed to the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and the MMD to resolve their respective intra-party differences and to reach consensus on adopted candidates for the January 20, 2015 presidential election.
And Acting President Guy Scott says he is optimistic that the PF will resolve its intra-party differences and come up with one candidate for the presidential election.
Justice Mambilima said ECZ expects the respective political parties to resolve their differences before the filing of nominations on December 17, 18 and 19.
“I would like to state that there will be no extension to the nomination time-table on account of any political party not being ready,” Justice Mambilima said.
She said during a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that ECZ has given political parties enough time to prepare themselves.
“We may however extend the nomination days in the event that the number of aspiring candidates exceeds 10,” Justice Mambilima said.
She said ECZ will meet all aspiring candidates next week to brief them on the nomination process and what is expected of them.
She said so far, six political parties have confirmed the time for filing nominations and these are United Party for National Development (UPND), Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) and National Restoration Party (NAREP).
Others are Green Party of Zambia (GPZ), Forum for Democratic Alternatives (FDA) and Fourth Revolution Party (FRP).
“The commission would like to remind all political parties that in terms of the law, there are no independent candidates in a presidential election,” she said.
Justice Mambilima said ECZ is making good progress in preparing for the presidential election and has so far delivered non-security materials like ballot boxes to all districts.
She said all presidential candidates are expected to bring along their national registration cards (NRCs), statutory declaration of assets and liabilities, oath and affirmation of Zambian citizenship and letters of adoption.
Justice Mambilima called for peaceful campaigns and elections and that everyone should play a role in this.
She also said ECZ will open four centres in each constituency for seven days starting from December 28 to allow those that have lost their voter’s cards to have them replaced.
Justice Mambilima also called on political parties to allow ECZ to carry out its work without any hindrance.
“The media has a crucial role to play in the elections by reporting factually,” Justice Mambilima said.
She said ECZ will still use the 6,456 polling stations that were used in the 2011 general elections.
And Dr Scott said what is currently happening in the country should not scare investors as it is just a passing phase.
The Acting President said in an interview yesterday that he is hopeful that PF will settle its differences and agree on one presidential candidate.
He said it is normal in a democratic environment to have differences, especially where succession is involved.
He said successions are always a problem but the ruling party will pull through.
Dr Scott assured investors that their investments are always protected and urged potential investors not to be afraid to invest in Zambia.
“This is just a passing phase and there should be nothing to worry about,” Dr Scott said.
Meanwhile, CHISHALA MUSONDA reports that PF president Edgar Lungu has advised party members to ignore Miles Sampa and chairperson for elections Sylvia Masebo but instead focus on campaigns for next year’s January 20 presidential election.
Addressing party members at the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola yesterday, Mr Lungu called for harmony amongst party members and said they should not be disturbed by manoeuvres of disloyal members.
Mr Lungu also said the opposition is rejoicing the infighting in the PF as some members are trying to sell the party.
He said that the party will launch its campaign for the January 20 presidential election in Kitwe on Saturday.
Zambia Daily Mail