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Rallies off, polls on

PRISCILLA MWILA, Lusaka
AMID indecision by some political parties over holding rallies, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has suspended such gatherings in view of
escalating COVID-19 cases but elections will be held as scheduled. And Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja has warned that politicians who will defy ECZ’s ban on rallies will be dealt with in line with statutory instruments 21 and 22 on public health. Zambia is ranked 10th among African countries with the highest numbers of coronavirus cases recorded daily and has almost reached a 100,000 mark with over 1,200 deaths. In March this year, a leading opposition leader in Congo Brazaville, Guy-Brice Parfait Kolélas, died of COVID-19 on polling day. India started recording an average of 300,000 new cases daily after a Hindu festival attended by millions of people,and its health facilities were overwhelmed with patients. According to the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, 69 countries worldwide postponed elections last year following a spike of coronavirus cases. Globally, 222 countries have confirmed over 173 million cases, including 3.7 million deaths. The United Nations recently advised political parties in
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