By ALICE NACHILEMBE
The Continental Leadership Research Institute says violence has a serious potential to negatively affect voter turnout and cause voter apathy during voting.
Institute Executive Director Paul a Hakoola has expressed concern over the violence and thuggish behavior being exhibited by political party carders in the country ahead of the August 12 polls .
Mr Hakoola said that the scourge could affect the participation of youths and women in the elections.
He said that the country would likely have reduced numbers of the two groups due to their fear of being caught up in violence.
Mr Hakoola said that the Institute has called on leaders of political parties to take responsibility and ensure that political carders found wanting face the law.
He has also called on the Zambia Police to have a standard working procedure as regards to responding to political gathering which will not disadvantage others political players.
“We also take this opportunity to call the Zambia Police to have a standard working procedure in the way the respond to issues of political gathering and not use procedures that advantages one political party against others. In a situation where there is a standard working procedure for all political parties that doesn’t favor one party, this will cause increased stakeholder participation in enforcing the law and will build the trust between law enforcement and stakeholders. However lacking standard working procedures will undermine the attributes needed to hold free and fair elections and might cause instability in the country,” he said.