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‘Let’s resolve election issues ahead of polls’

By MILLENNIUM REPORTER

STAKEHOLDERS must create a conducive environment to ensure voting is peaceful  while the elections are still far away, Golden Party Zambia president Jackson Silavwe has said.

Mr Silavwe has noted that just before the 2021 general elections, there was some tension which prompted the Zambia Interparty Dialogue which he was chairing then, to compel political parties to sign a peace pledge.

He said the tension that characterised the political atmosphere in the run up to the elections will need input from stakeholders if it is not to be repeated in the next general elections.

Mr Silavwe said lacunas in the constitution regarding the electoral process also contributed to the tension following the petitions after the 2016 elections.

He has hinted that these are some of the issues that need to be worked on, and stakeholders’ involvement is critical in this regard.

Meanwhile, the Support to the Electoral Dispute Resolution Oversight and Capacity Building Zambia (SEDROBZ) has recommended that the judiciary develops a system of disseminating information on electoral petitions to promote transparency.

SEDROBZ Electoral Dispute Resolution EDR lead consultant, Tinenenji Banda, said by making their work public, the Judiciary will be helping to improve the democratic space.

Dr Banda said creating credible avenues will provide for peaceful alternatives within the electoral process.

She however said the strict timelines in hearing petitions have been helpful as past petitions before the 2016 elections had gone on forever with results often becoming academic.

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