The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has released the schedule of dates of nominations, including for those running in the presidential poll, in preparation for the country's August 11 general election.
The ECZ also announced it has so far registered more than 1.5 million prospective voters in an ongoing bid to compile a new voter list to be used for the presidential, parliamentary and local elections.
The ECZ's director of elections, Priscilla Isaac, says the commission has also announced the date for official campaigning to give all candidates and political parties adequate time to prepare for the poll.
“We have over 1.5 million, which is good," she said. "It is about 96 percent of our target of 1.7 million new registrations. ... It is our intention to go back to do another 14 days mid-February and then close the voter registration, both in terms of the mobile and at district centers by February 29, so that we can now start the cleaning of the register to enable us to produce the provisional voters roll for inspection.
"Once we do the inspection and do the final cleanup of the register, we expect to certify the final voters register for this year’s election on the 31st of July.”
Isaac says the ECZ expects the cooperation of voters.
Dissolution of parliament
Zambia’s new constitution requires that parliament should be dissolved 90 days before elections are held.
“We will start nominations for the mayors and the council chairperson on the 28th of June," Isaac said. "And then the following day ... we will have nominations for national assembly elections — that’s for members of parliament — and then for councilors. Nominations for the presidential election will run concurrently with these sets of nominations."
“The commission has set the 16th of May as the official start of this year’s elections, and it will close a day before the election on the 10th of August," she said. "This period fits in with the dissolution of parliament. …
"It is our estimation that by the 16th of May, parliament would have been dissolved. It makes it slightly easy to manage the election because then you don’t have any ministers in office and so forth."
The electoral commission also announced that all candidates need to ensure their school certificates are authenticated by the Examinations Council of Zambia, as required by the constitution.