News / Africa

Zambia Opposition Party Vows to Boycott By-Elections

Peter Clottey
Zambia’s main opposition Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) has vowed to boycott two parliamentary by-elections scheduled to be held next week.

Deputy MMD Secretary-General Chembe Nyangu says supporters of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) have been intimidating and harassing supporters of the opposition in the run up to the vote.

"We are not interested in going into a by-election, which we know that PF has already manipulated, and they are going to win those elections, because they are going to intimidate the opposition,” said Nyangu.

His comments came after the MMD accused the ruling party of trying to create a one-party state by weakening opposition parties in the country. The PF rejects the accusation.

Zambia’s electoral body plans to organize parliamentary by-elections in both Kapiri-Mposhi and Lukulu West constituencies after legislators defected to the ruling PF party.

When legislators defect, new elections are supposed to be organized to replace the departing legislators as enshrined in the constitution.

The ruling party, Nyangu says, uses the power of incumbency to win by-elections to ensure its parliamentary majority.

“There is no level-playing field in any by-election because these are planned by-elections by the Patriotic Front. So even if the opposition participates in this election there is nothing that we can win because they have actually made it a point that they have to go to one party state,” said Nyangu.    

“All the PF wants to do is to ensure that they win all the by-elections so that they can muscle the number to 106 in parliament,” he said. “Then after doing that they can do whatever they want with the constitution to suit them.”

Nyangu says the PF is making it difficult for opposition parties to play their role in the country’s democratic system.

It was not clear, however, if Hakainde Hichilema’s opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) will also boycott the parliamentary by-elections.

The MMD has often accused President Michael Sata’s government of encouraging opposition legislators to defect to the ruling party by appointing them to Cabinet-level jobs without consultations.

But, Sata has said he is willing to work with all parliamentarians who have the country’s best interest at heart regardless of their political affiliation.

“What we are going to do now is to exert our energy to reorganize ourselves from the grassroots so that coming 2016, we remove PF from government, because if we keep them there  they would definitely take his country 40 years backward,” said Nyangu.
Clottey interview with Chembe Nyangu, MMD Deputy Secretary General
Clottey interview with Chembe Nyangu, MMD Deputy Secretary Generali
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid