Thursday, June 2, 2011

Press Release

Don’t leave voter verification sensitization activities to ECZ alone-FODEP

An election’s legitimacy depends, in part, on the extent to which citizens participate. But it is impossible for people to express their sovereign will via the ballot box if the voters’ register is in shambles or if voters do not go out to cast their vote.

It is for this reason that the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) would like to urge all those that participated in the voter registration exercise to turn en masse during the verification exercise which starts today and verify the correctness of their registration details in the provisional register.

Although the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has been carrying out media advertisements on the exercise, the overall assessment by FODEP of the voter education activities around the commencement of the verification exercise reveal that there has been very limited activities especially in rural areas. This, we hope, may not have a telling effect on the overall participation of the first-time voters in the exercise and consequently the voting process itself.

FODEP appeals to all politicians to provide leadership in this exercise by motivating their sympathizers and supporters to participate in the verification exercise to ensure that none of them is disenfranchised on voting day on account of incorrect and inaccurate details in the register.

We also appeal to the media to mainstream the voter verification publicity activities in their daily programming. FODEP members and other stakeholders are also encouraged to get involved voter verification sensitization activities so as to encourage as many people verify their details as possible.

In this regard, FODEP would like to see to it that voter education activities target the first-time voters (youths) and address issues of personal civic responsibility among them on how to take an active role in verifying their personal information on the provisional voters’ roll. It is by having and knowing sufficiently correct information of one’s details that one is guaranteed of their right to vote.

Finally, FODEP hopes that the verification centres will be accessible to all eligible voters and that the procedures and information packaging will be user friendly especially to persons with disabilities.

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