Zambians are anxiously awaiting the results of Thursday's
by-election after casting their ballots for president. The electoral commission
has been compiling the election results amid opposition accusations that the
commission rigged the election on behalf of the ruling Movement for Multiparty
Democracy presidential candidate Rupiah Banda. Independent election observers
say the election has been generally peaceful, but add that there
were some instances of voting irregularities. The
leader of the main opposition Patriotic Front, Michael Sata, claims the
election was rigged, and has formally written to the electoral commission to
express his dissatisfaction with the conduct of the vote. The winner
of the election would replace late President Levy Mwanawasa who won international praise for his crackdown on
graft and prudent economic policies.
Chris Akufunu is the communications director
for Zambia's electoral commission. He tells reporter Peter Clottey that the
commission would begin announcing the results of the vote today.
is happening is the results are being compiled from the 6456 polling stations
and after that process, the results are being sent to the constituency centers.
We have 150 constituencies and each constituency has a center, so it is at the
constituency that the results are totaled from each constituency and then they
are announced. After that process the results are sent to the district center
where they are now transmitted electronically through a wide-area-network and
also by fax. And from the district they are being sent to the Electoral
Commission of Zambia headquarters and from there they are transmitted to the
result center here at Mulongoshi International Conference Center. And that is
where the results then are announced," Akufunu pointed out.
said the electoral commission aims to improve the quality of future elections.
in any election, and I think this one is no exception, there are some elements
that may not go as planned, which may be due to either human error or due to
some technical reasons. And so we do realize that yes there are areas where the
commission can improve in terms of its processes and implementing its plan and
these we try as much as possible to do," he said.
said the commission sees Zambia's election as a learning tool to make the vote
better than previous ones.
look at every election as not just an election, but also a learning point and
we want o improve at every election or processes so that we deliver a credible
election for the Zambia people," Akufunu noted.
said reiterated that the electoral commission invites all stakeholders in the
election to express their concerns in order for the commission to address them
ahead of any vote.
position of the commission is such that we have these consultations with
political parties and in terms of improving electoral process we admit the
electoral process can be better, and it is for that reason that we are
constantly and consistently consulting with them. And when they raise issues,
we do take note about the issues and we deal with them. And even as we speak,
there were issues that were raised they are even in this election and we dealt
with them. We tend to think that is the way forward to improve this whole
electoral process," he said.