ECZ reviews election roadmap in line with health guidelines

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The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has announce that it will be reviewing the Roadmap for Elections, in the face of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

ECZ said it will soon advise its stakeholders and the general public the commencement date for all the electoral processes leading up to the 2021 General Elections.

The Commission pointed out that it is monitoring events closely as the pandemic unfolds and is, therefore, re-aligning its Elections Calendar accordingly.

The Commission’s Public Relations Manager, Margaret Chimanse said as a result, the Voter Registration Exercise that was scheduled to commence in May will commence on a date to be advised.

She added that, despite the outbreak of COVID-19 the Commission will still conduct the Polls for three Local Government By-elections.

These will be conducted for Nakato and Imalyo Wards of Mongu Town Council in Western Province, and Bulilo Ward of Chilubi Town Council in Northern Province.

“Unlike the Voter Registration Exercise which has been postponed, the three ward by-elections shall be conducted as prescribed by Article 57 (1) of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016.

“This provides that “where a vacancy occurs in the office of a Member of Parliament, Mayor, Council
Chairperson or Councillor a by-election shall be held within 90 days of the occurrence of the vacancy,” she said in a statement.

Chimanse added that in view of this, the Commission will institute administrative measures to guide the conduct of all by-elections to prevent the transmission of Covid-19.

Subsequently, the Commission has put in place the following measures to comply with the Ministry of Health guidelines:- Adherence to the Public Health Statutory Instrument No. 22 of 2020 which outlines the guidelines and procedures on how to prevent, control and manage the COVID-19.

She added that the Commission will observe all Public health procedures as well as allowing Health Personnel into its buildings such as meeting venues, Nomination Centres, Polling Stations and Totalling Centre.

“There will be the provision of sanitary materials such as hand sanitizers, gloves, masks, soap and water to all polling staff and other officers at polling stations, all our meeting venues, Nomination Centre and Totalling Centre,” she said.

She pointed out that the provision of additional Officers/ Ushers, including Health Personnel at meeting venues, Nomination Centres, Polling Stations and Totalling Centre to ensure that people are sanitized and observe hygiene standards in a public place or gathering will be taken seriously.

Chimanse added that all health measures and guidelines, including the observance of social distancing will be effected.

She also pointed out stakeholders’ responsibilities that include the following:

  1. Political Parties are discouraged from holding public rallies to avoid the contraction of COVID-19.
  2. Political Parties and other Stakeholders are encouraged to use appropriate campaign strategies such as mobile Public Address System, distribution of flyers and other political party materials with minimal or no contact with a crowd.
  3. Parties should desist from ferrying cadres from one district/ward to the other for campaigns in Districts where by- elections are taking place.
  4. Political Parties are also encouraged to observe all the Health guidelines and procedures outlined by the Ministry of Health.

The Commission added that it wishes to reiterate that it will work very closely with the Ministry of Health during the by-elections and that all stakeholders participating in the polls will abide by the Ministry of Health guidelines on the prevention of the spread of the COVID-19.

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One Response to ECZ reviews election roadmap in line with health guidelines

  1. How odes a bye-election become a priority at the expense of people`s lives?This is really stupid and dumb.

    Blago
    May 2, 2020 at 8:39 am
    Reply

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31