TEDDY KUYELA, Lusaka
ELEVEN political parties so far have confirmed that they will each sponsor a candidate in the forthcoming presidential election slated for January 20, 2015.
Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairperson Irene Mambilima said 11 political parties have officially notified the Commission of their intentions to participate in the election.
Justice Mambilima, however, said the ECZ is yet to agree with the PF on the date of filing of nomination for their candidate.
She said a number of political parties have notified the office of the ECZ director of the date and time of filing in their nominations.
Justice Mambilima said this in Lusaka yesterday when the ECZ held a meeting with presidential aspirants.
She said ECZ has since extended the nomination days from December 17, 18, 19 to Sunday 21 to accommodate the number of aspiring candidates, which has so far exceeded 10.
Justice Mambilima named the 11 parties as the Patriotic Front, Forum for Democratic Alternatives, Green Party, Forum for Democracy and Development, NAREP, 4th Revolution, UPND, UNIP, United Poor People of Zambiaâ€™s Freedom Party, Peopleâ€™s Redemption Party and MMD.
â€œI would like to take this opportunity to appeal to those political parties that intend to sponsor presidential candidates and have not yet advised the Commission of the time when they intend to lodge their nominations to do so during this meeting.
â€œAs we stated earlier, there will be no extension to the nomination time table on account of any political party not being ready as we are required to conduct this election within 90 days of the demise of the President. The 90th day in this case is January 26, 2015,â€ she said.
Justice Mambilima also called on all political parties participating in the presidential election to conduct themselves in a responsible and peaceful manner.
She said all peace-loving and law-abiding citizens should realise that they each have a role to play to contribute to a peaceful transition through the conduct of a peaceful election.
Justice Mambilima also urged Zambians to report all the cases of electoral malpractice to the law enforcement agencies.
â€œECZ will also be on high alert to handle any matters of conflict that may arise during this period through conflict management committees that are established at national and district level,â€ she said.
Justice Mambilima appealed to leaders of all political parties participating in the presidential election to advise their cadres to refrain from engaging in electoral violence.
She said all aspiring candidates will be required to pay a non-refundable nomination fee of K10,000 each.
Presidential aspiring candidates who attended the meeting included Mr Rupiah Banda for MMD, PF president Edgar Lungu, Heritage Party president Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda and NAREP president Elias Chipimo.
Others were Forum for Democratic Alternatives president Ludwig Sondashi and National Revolution Party president Cosmo Mumba.
Both Mr Banda and Mr Lungu described the meeting as fruitful.
TEDDY KUYELA, Lusaka