‘Solwezi bye-election won’t be free and fair’

Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) spokesperson MacDonald Chipenzi says the Solwezi Central by-election, slated for November 19, will be marred by serious electoral malpractices.

Mr. Chipenzi attributed his prediction to the on going violence, food distribution and vote buying that has characterized the campaigns in the constituency ahead of the elections.

He said in an interview with ZANIS, today, that there cannot be any level playing field when political parties vying for the Solwezi Central seat were all engaged in serious electoral malpractices like violence and vote buying.

He said the Solwezi Central by-election will not be free nor fair as all parties contesting in the by-election have abrogated the electoral code of conduct through their involvement in violence and other electoral misconduct ahead of the by-election.

Mr Chipenzi said that there will be need to strengthen the electoral code of conduct before the 2011 presidential and parliamentary elections in order to punish political parties found wanting for abrogating the electoral code of conduct.

He said this would save the country from going through expensive appeals, saying the current indication would be that the losers in the Solwezi Central by-election would not want to concede defeat because of the alleged electoral malpractices.

The spokesperson noted that the Solwezi Central by-election should make politicians to start appreciating each other and desist from politics of character assassination.

He said the Solwezi Central by-election should offer a perfect example for political parties to go back to the drawing board and learn to promote peace, dialogue and co-existence before the nation goes to the polls in 2011.

Mr Chipenzi further urged eligible electorates in Solwezi Central constituency to turn up in their numbers and vote for their preferred candidate who could serve them better.

Share this post