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ECZ re-schedules elections calendar

THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has announced the rescheduling of the elections calendar following the outbreak of Covid-19.
The rescheduled roadmap for elections has pushed forward the Voter Registration Exercise which was supposed to commence in May to a later date to be announced.
ECZ Public Relations Manager Margaret Chimanse noted in a statement in Lusaka today that the commission is reviewing the roadmap for elections and that it will soon advise stakeholders and the general public the commencement date for all the electoral processes leading up to the 2021 General Elections
Ms. Chimanse said the move to review the roadmap for elections has been necessitated by the outbreak of coronavirus which has affected the day to day life of citizens.
“Following the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, that has affected the day to day life of citizens (health, social and economy), the Commission wishes to announce that it is reviewing the roadmap for elections, and will soon advise stakeholders and the general public the commencement date for all the electoral processes leading up to the 2021 General Elections,” Ms. Chimanse stated.
She stressed that the Commission is monitoring events closely as the pandemic unfolds in order to re-align its Elections Calendar.
Meanwhile the ECZ says it will conduct polls for the three Local Government By-elections in Western and Northern Provinces despite the outbreak of Covid-19 .
Ms. Chimanse observed that unlike the Voter Registration Exercise which has been postponed, the three ward by-elections shall be conducted as prescribed by Article 57 (1) of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016, which provides that “where a vacancy occurs in the office of a Member of Parliament, Mayor, Council Chairperson or Councillor, a by-election shall be held within 90 days of the occurrence of the vacancy.”
“….the ECZ will still conduct the Polls for three Local Government By-elections in Nakato and Imalyo Wards of Mongu Town Council in Western Province, and Bulilo Ward of Chilubi Town Council in Northern Province,” she said. She added that in view of the constitutional provisions for the by-elections to be conducted, the Commission will institute administrative measures to guide the conduct of all by-elections to prevent the transmission of Covid-19.
She said the Commission has put in place measures that it will comply with in line with the health guidelines by the Ministry of Health which include observance of all Public health procedures and allowing Health Personnel into the buildings such as meeting venues, Nomination Centres, Polling Stations and totaling centre among others.
The Commission has since reiterated that it will work closely with the Ministry of Health during the by-elections noting that all Stakeholders participating in the Polls shall abide by the Ministry of Health guidelines on the prevention of the spread of the Covid-19.

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