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The Electoral Commission of Zambia has proposed to revise upwards, nomination fees for candidates ahead of the 2021 General elections.

According to the proposed fees made available to the media, Male Presidential candidates will now be required to pay K150, 000 from K60, 000 while female Presidential Candidates and persons with disabilities will pay K120, 000 from K60, 000.

Male parliamentary candidates according to the proposal will be required to pay K25, 000 from K7, 500 with female candidates, youths and persons with disabilities expected to pay K20, 000 from K7, 500.

For Mayors, male candidates will now pay K25, 000 from K7, 500 while female candidates, youths and persons with disabilities will pay K20, 000 from K7, 500.

At Council Chairperson Level, male Candidates will be required to pay K10, 000 from K2, 500 while Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities will be required to pay K7, 500 from 2,500.

At the Ward Level the Commission is proposing a K2, 500 nomination fee for male candidates for City and Municipal Councils from K750 and K2, 500 for Town and District Councils from K400. The Commission is proposing that Women Youths and Persons with Disabilities should pay K2, 000 as nomination fee for City and Municipal Councils from K750 and K2, 000 for the same group for town and district councils.

According to ECZ Chairperson Justice Esau Chulu, a meeting will now be called with all stakeholders to deliberate on the proposal which if approved will see the Commission increase fees for the 2021 general elections.

Meanwhile, the Commission has assured stakeholders that as it prepares to start registration of voters between October and November, 2020 it will continue to engage the Treasury to ensure that adequate funds are made available in time for this important national exercise.

Justice Chulu has also reiterated that the Commission has no mandate to postpone a General Election as the date is now enshrined in the Republican Constitution.

“Article 56 (1) states as follows: “A general election shall be held every five years after the last general election, on the second Thursday of August”. In this case, the 2021 General Elections will be on the Thursday 12th August”, said Justice Chulu.

Officially opening the ECZ/Political parties’ liaison committee meeting held on Tuesday 16th June, 2020 at Mulungushi International Conference Centre, Justice Chulu said the Commission is, therefore, mindful about the above date and will guarantee that all preparations are made in time for the General Elections next year.

He reminded those that wish to contest the 2021 General Elections to ensure that they start preparing their documentation in good time to avoid rushing at the last minute.

Justice Chulu also said that the appointment of an Electoral Group of Eminent Persons is in line with the Electoral Commission Act number 25 of 2016.

He said the Electoral Group of Eminent Persons is a body made up of highly regarded individuals in Zambia who will act as an esteemed observatory and advisory body to, and on behalf of, the Electoral Commission of Zambia.

Justice Chulu said the EGEP’s aim is to observe the countries electoral processes and provide an independent public opinion as and when need be.

He said the group will further undertake an examination of options for reform in order to bring the Electoral Commission and the country’s electoral process into a stronger and more effective institution and process respectively.