POLITICAL parties must desist from violence even under extreme provocation in the run up to the August 12 general elections, the Anti-voter Apathy (AVAP) in North western province has said.

AVAP provincial coordinator, Cranes Kasito, appealed to political parties to engage in violence-free campaigns as violence could tear the country apart.

He was speaking in an interview in Solwezi.

“Our encouragement to all political players is that they should engage in issue based campaigns and not character assassination so that we have a peaceful campaigns,” he said.

Mr Kasito also appealed to the electorate to scrutinize the candidates so that they vote for the right people who would represent them well.

Meanwhile, Mr Kasito said AVAP was disappointed with the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) announcement that political parties should not be holding public rallies ahead of the August polls due to Covid-19.

He said some political parties had been holding big public gatherings even before the campaigns commenced but wondered why the ECZ would arrive at such a decision now.

“To start with, we are very much disappointed with the commission’s announcement because we have been seeing bigger public gatherings taking place,” he said.

Mr Kasito said the move would not help as political parties would want to their messages heard by masses.

He said banning political rallies during the campaign period was the same as championing undemocratic tendencies.

Mr Kasito said political parties should stand up and say no to the announcement as it would deny them an opportunity to speak masses.

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