By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) will be conducting fresh nominations for Mandevu Constituency in Lusaka, necessitated by the death of one of the candidates, Melody Musutu.
The Commission will also hold fresh nomination in Lusaka central and Mpulungu constituencies.
The fresh nominations have also been necessitated by the resignation of three candidates, Charity Lumpa in Lusaka Central Constituency, Gilbert Bwali Musonda in Mpulungu Constituency and Chewe Kateule in Kamakonde Ward, Nkana Constituency.
The Commission is concerned with the conflicting statements from some sections of the media including a misrepresentation on the position of the ECZ on facts arising from the death of Zambians United for Sustainable Development (ZUSD) parliamentary candidate for Mandevu Constituency.
ECZ has clarified that Article 52 sub article 6 of the Republican Constitution offers guidance on the procedures to take following the death of a candidate after the close of nominations and before the polls.
The Article provides that where a candidate dies, resigns or becomes disqualified in accordance with Article 70, 100 or 153 or a court disqualifies a candidate for corruption or malpractice, after the close of nominations and before the election date, ECZ shall cancel the election and require the filing of fresh nominations by eligible candidates.
ECZ Corporate Affairs Manager Patricia Luhanga said it is clear that in the event of the death of a candidate after the nomination process, the law requires the cancellation of elections and call for fresh nominations for eligible candidates
“The law requires fresh nominations, it entails that all aspiring candidates including those that had originally filed in nominations will be required to pay the prescribed nomination fee,” she said
Ms Luhanga said that the provision would also apply to candidates who resign or get disqualified in accordance with Articles 70, 100 or 153 of the Constitution.
Ms Luhanga said the Commission is bound to comply without any discretion to do otherwise as this is a Constitutional provision.
She added that the Commission also recognizes that the process may inconvenience stakeholder’s especially political parties who will be required to do fresh nominations.
This according to statement issued by ECZ corporate affairs manager Patricia Luhanga for the Electoral Chief officer Patrick Nshindano