The Electoral Commission of Zambia has threatened to end the campaign before the scheduled end date of 19th January, 2015 if the unfolding political violence and intolerance in various parts of the country continues.
ECZ Public Relations Manager Crispin Akufuna in a statement to QFM News says the Commission further calls on the Zambia Police Service to ensure that perpetrators of violence and anyone caught abrogating the Electoral Code of Conduct is dealt with firmly without fear of favour, irrespective of which politiAkafuna-ECZcal party they belong to.
Akufuna says the Commission reminds all political parties participating in the presidential election that it is their responsibility to restrain their members and cadres from provoking their opponents and inciting violence.
He adds that leaders of political parties have an even greater responsibility to lead by example by promoting tolerance and peace and setting the tone for a level playing field for free and fair elections.
Akufuna further reminds all political parties that they have a duty to ensure that their candidates, cadres and supporters abide by the electoral regulations, including the Code of Conduct.
He states that the ECZ will soon convene a meeting of all the participating political parties, the church and other stakeholders to chart a way forward on the ugly scourge of violence.
And the Electoral Commission of Zambia has condemned in the strongest terms the endorsements by some traditional leader of some candidates, which may exert undue influence on their subjects.
Akufuna says while Chiefs may be invited to political functions, they should desist from making partisan statements.
He points out that the endorsement of some candidates by traditional leaders is an abrogation of Section 129 of the Republican Constitution, which states that, a person shall not while remaining a chief join or participate in partisan politics.
He states that the Commission is disappointed that the trend of endorsements has continued despite its recent efforts to engage traditional leaders on the importance of being non-partisan and the need for them to desist from coercing or intimidating their subjects during campaigns, public debates or elections.