Govt’s intention to print ballot papers locally received with mixed feelings

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The announcement by Republican Vice President Inonge Wina that Government is Considering to print the 2021 ballot papers locally has been received with mixed feelings by political stakeholders.

Late President Michael Sata after wining the 2011 general elections told the nation that the country can’t continue to lose huge sums of money by printing ballot papers abroad hence government would invest in government printers so that it can begin printing ballot papers locally.

That pronouncement did not see the light of day in the first term of the PF owing to among other reasons the death of the founding President of the PF who passed on mid term.

But responding to Nangoma Member of Parliament Boyd Hamusonde in Parliament Wina said government stands ready to print the 2021 ballot papers locally as long as technical security matters are addressed.

The Vice President said ballot papers are very sensitive hence the need for adequate technical security.

The answer from the Veep has drown a sharp response from the opposition UNPD leader Hakainde Hichilema who accused the ruling party of planning to rig the elections.

Hichilema, who addressed the media on various issues on Wednesday, said the only motive for the PF was to ensure a continued stay in government illegally.

He called on stakeholders to reject the move by the PF and urged his supporters protect their votes.

But the MMD is of the view that having ballots printed locally will not only save the nation the much needed resources but that it would also provide political players an opportunity to have first hand information in the print process.

National Secretary of the former ruling party Raphael Nakacinda said as a participant his party welcomes the pronouncement because there has always been public outcry that the country has been spending huge sums of money printing ballot papers abroad.

He said if government was willing to move in that direction it should be supported by all well meaning Zambians.

Nakacinda was however quick to mention that there should be modalities that would secure the process as well as ensure that there is no room for accusations of using the process to disadvantage others or rigging the elections.

And electrol expert McDonald Chipenzi observed that the process of determining where and who prints the ballot papers should be left to the Electoral Commission of Zambia.

Chipenzi said the President and his party are out of order and undermining the Commission and the Constitution with impunity and that the earlier they keep quite the better.

“Is President Edgar Lungu in order to pre-determine where and who prints the ballot papers for the next elections in Zambia? Of course, the answer is no, he is out of order and undermining the Commission and the Constitution with impunity and the earlier he keeps quiet and allows the Commission to drive the process the better for this nation.

“With early campaigns already in gear as seen by the distribution of campaign materials defined in the Electoral Process Act No. 35 of 2016 section 2 as to mean “party or candidate manifestos, advertisements, billboards, posters, t-shirts, cloth or other material depicting colours regarding symbols, and other designs of a party or pictorial images of a candidate; and with fears of electoral rigging from the opposition political parties, those in power and wield state authority have already started prescribing where and who prints the 2021 General Elections Ballot Papers contrary to the provision of the law,” reads an extract from his latest article.

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One Response to Govt’s intention to print ballot papers locally received with mixed feelings

  1. May someone educate me on the following questions.

    1.Given the current economical situation, which of these two alternatives shows Prudence
    A) Spending money in a foreign country to print electoral materials?
    B) Building local capacity to undertake same task of printing electoral materials?

    2. What is meant by the term rigging and what is the solution to this issue?

    Hachonda
    February 25, 2018 at 7:56 pm
    Reply

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