Thursday, September 05, 2013

Mulongoti calls for 'soberness' over ECZ decision
By Kombe Chimpinde and Stuart Lisulo
Tue 13 Aug. 2013, 14:01 CAT

INSPECTOR General of Police Stella Libongani has warned of stern action against candidates and their supporters insisting that they will turn up for nominations after the decision by the ECZ to disqualify them from contesting parliamentary by-elections.

And People's Party president Mike Mulongoti has observed that there is a need for 'soberness' over the decision by the Electoral Commission of Zambia to postpone the filing in of nomination papers for the Petauke Central, Mulobezi and Malambo constituencies. In an interview, Libongani said police would not condone any unlawful conduct by anyone over the filing of nominations slated for today.

"My word of advice to the supporters as well as parties participating is to ensure they abide by what ECZ has said over the people who are qualified to file in their nominations," said Libongani.

"We are well prepared for the constituencies and we have enough officers to ensure the nominations are done in a peaceful manner," she said.

She said police's stance was that elections should be a violence-free election process.

Yesterday, MMD president Nevers Mumba vowed to ensure that Dora Siliya files her nomination papers to ECZ today.

Mumba said the MMD would use all options, including legal, to ensure that the Constitution is protected.

And the ECZ said its decision to disqualify Siliya, Maxwell Mwale and Hastings Sililo from contesting parliamentary by-elections was final.
ECZ director Priscilla Isaacs said in an interview that all was ready for the filing of nominations today.

Isaacs said the ECZ would not accept nominations from individuals who had been disqualified.

"We are ready for tomorrow's filing of nominations. Concerning the candidates who have been disqualified, our position still remains the same," said Isaacs

And Mulongoti said it was important to approach the matter from a sober position.

"In the midst of the confusion that was surrounding the whole process, it was the right thing they did," said Mulongoti.
He said it was necessary for political parties to consult among themselves.

"It is a very delicate situation and my appeal is that let us be sober about it," he said.

Mulongoti urged all relevant stakeholders to adhere and respect the decision in the interest of peace and security.

He further said the ECZ was very wise in its decision observing that all the relevant political parties required sufficient time to field candidates of their choice.

Meanwhile, Mulongoti revealed that the People's Party was currently on the ground making progress.

"Our priority is not to win elections, but to provide checks and balances,'' he said.

He said as a member of the opposition political fraternity, the focus was on ensuring that the government of the day was exercising prudence in the spending of state resources.

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