Thursday, July 17, 2014
Pre Elections Statement Issued By FODEP Executive Director - Mr McDonald Chipenzi -July 17th 2014
FOUNDATION for Democratic Process (FODEP) is calling on all stakeholders in the electoral process to strongly advocate for the application and invoking of the provisions of the Electoral Code of Conduct of 2011 throughout the electoral cycle to take care of premature electoral campaigns in the country. This is so because of the prevalence of premature electoral campaigns conducted by prospective candidates across the country ahead of the 2016 tripartite elections where some aspiring candidates have already started pasting campaign posters and other electoral propaganda materials. For instance, aspiring candidates in Kabwata Constituency in Lusaka Urban District of Lusaka Province from various political parties are already in high gear conducting electoral campaigns even when there is no pending by-election in sight. FODEP expressing great concerns with the trend especially that the electoral Act No. 12 of 2006 and Code of 2011 only applies and allows the use of electoral propaganda and campaigns materials by aspiring candidates during an election campaign which under the Act and the Code is determined by the Commission. The pasting of campaign posters on electrical poles other buildings by prospective aspiring candidates in Kabwata Constituency when Commission has not determined election timetable for the campaigns is of great concern and should be censured by the relevant authorities. It is also a wake up call to both the ECZ and CSOs in the electoral process to explore the possibility of effecting the provisions of the electoral Code during the pre-nomination periods to arrest some of the irregularities and malpractices that prospective candidates may be involved in currently outside the jurisdictions of the provisions of Code and the Act. Applying and invoking the provisions of the Act and the Code throughout the electoral cycle will enable the Commission, Zambia Police Force, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and other relevant bodies censure erring aspiring candidates when breaches of the Code and the electoral Act are noticed, which has proved to be difficult at the moment.