News / Africa

Zambia Opposition Party Vows to Boycott By-Elections

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Resigns

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid