Politicians urged to observe electoral code of conduct

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A political scientist has called on political players in the country to observe the electoral code of conduct in totality as the country prepares for the general elections slated for August 12, 2021.

Dr. Alex Ng’oma, who is a lecturer, researcher and political analyst in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zambia, said the observance of the electoral code of conduct is key in ensuring that the country conducts free and fair elections.

Speaking in a telephone interview with ZANIS, Dr. Ng’oma also called on politicians to conduct issue-based campaigns when the campaign period starts.

“Let us observe all the laws and rules pertaining to elections. Even when campaigns start, let us ensure that we avoid political violence that is number one. Secondly, let us stick to issue based campaigns,” he said.

He said how politicians react to the eventual outcome of the polls will influence their supporters hence the need for them to observe high levels of tolerance.

“There will be only one person declared winner. So all the losing candidates must be prepared to immediately concede defeat to allow the winner to begin to put their programmes in place. That will also guide the followers,” Dr. Ng’oma said.

And Dr. Ng’oma said democracy in Zambia is growing noting that this is evidenced by the recent holding of intra-party polls in various political parties.

“Democracy in Zambia is actually growing and slowly becoming consolidated. You can see the political players are playing the political game according to rules. Rule number one among the political parties is that it is a constitutional requirement for all of them to hold their party conventions in the run up to the major national election and this is what we have seen. We have seen the PF, we have seen the UPND and the MMD holding their conventions. That in itself may be taken as an indicator that democracy is growing,” he said.

Asked if he felt that holding of internal elections in political parties is in line with international democratic best practices, he responded to the affirmative.

“We are deepening our tenets of democracy. Those have worked very well for the mature democracies of the world,” he said.

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