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Postponements cause of voter apathy, says CSOs

By KETRA KALUNGA 

POSTPONEMENT of the polls is what has caused the low voter turnout in the Kabwata by-election, the civil society organisations (CSOs) have said as they call for the amendment of article 52 (6) of the constitution.

The CSOs said the law on by-elections should be changed and come up with a solid cause for postponing an election such as death and sickness which no one has control of.

Anti-Voter Apathy (AVAP) and Operation Young Vote (OYV) said the article needed to be amended in a way that promotes the country’s democracy

And OYV executive director, Guess Nyirenda said the low turnout was a threat to the country’s democratic dispensation.

AVAP executive director, Richwell Mulwani said in an interview that the country should come up with laws that inspire people to go and vote not laws that cannot be justified

Mr. Mulwani said it was worrying that only about 27, 000 out of the 108, 000 registered voters took part in the by-election. 

“We need to check how that law is being applied and seek for amendment so that we have a law that is helping us to build our democracy than a law that weakens it,” he said.

Mr Nyirenda said the low turnout was a threat to the country’s democratic dispensation.

Mr. Nyirenda said in an interview that the participation of people in an election was the most critical part of democracy.

He said if people are not participating in elections then the democratic dispensation of the country is threatened.

Mr. Nyirenda has called on the government, CSOs and other stakeholders to constantly engaget the electorates on the importance of exercising their rights by taking part in choosing their leadership.

…as they call for amendment in the law

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