UPND wins all 8 ward bye-elections

UPND wins all 8 ward bye-elections

The ruling United Party for National Development – UPND has won all the eight (8) bye elections held in various constituencies across Zambia.

Some would say the ruling party is dominant and growing, but history shows that somehow, the advantages of incumbency are huge in this part of the world. With the current double header of power cuts and high mealie meal prices, the party must have a good elections team to pull off this massive haul of ward seats.

However, a deeper and intellectually honest look at the results published by the Electoral Commission of Zambia – ECZ reveals some intricate details that cannot be ignored:

1. The main opposition Patriotic Front – PF did not participate and compete in any of the 8 wards perhaps raising louder questions of a shrinking democratic space where the main contender fails to field candidates. Can a contest be termed as credible without the main opposition participating?

2. The witnesses sign off on ECZ results forms displayed higher apathy levels where electoral observers, the church and other independent electoral monitors critical to adding credibility are conspicuously missing raising questions of legitimacy. Moreover, the total number of registered voters is missing making it impossible to objectively assess the voter turn out. A key metric of democratic elections.

3. Despite the notable levels of checks and balances being offered by the Socialist party leader Dr. Fred M’membe, the party performance at ward levels remains questionable as a formidable and alternative opposition ahead of the PF. Can SP alone without being part of the opposition alliance with PF offer a credible opposition to UPND?

4. Sign off by ZANIS and other government controlled institutions as witnesses on the ECZ results forms simply shows desperation, if all other participants are unwilling to sign off the ECZ results, deeper questions should be asked on why electoral participants and losing political party’s find it hard to sign off results and if the contest lack free and fair endorsement

5. The main opposition PF should re-strategize and find a way to participate even through independent candidates. Getting off the ballot even when faced with huge political and legal challenges has shown how UNIP got buried by boycotting and not participating in elections. Dear ZBT reader, what other observations do you make on these results?




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