PATRIOTIC Front secretary general Davies Mwila says the ruling party will only adopt women who have the quality, determination and popularity to help PF win next year’s general election.

And Mwila says if an individual has declared interest to stand in a constituency, it does not automatically mean that they have been adopted by the central committee.

Speaking during a press briefing in Lusaka, Wednesday, Mwila said none of the incumbent members of parliament had the right to pick a candidate.

“We have made a commitment as a party to ensure a 50/50 gender representation in the adoption of candidates for 2021 parliamentary and local government elections. This is because, as a party, we believe firmly in equal participation of men and women in the governing of the country. However, let me make it clear that the party will only adopt women who have the quality determination and popularity on the ground to win us elections. No one among the incumbent members of parliament has the right to pick a candidate. Candidates will be picked by the party. The central committee is the one which will make the final decision on the adoption. If an incumbent is tired, he cannot appoint someone like a headman or a chief; it is the party that decides. The party makes decisions, not individuals or the incumbent,” Mwila said.

And Mwila said all aspiring candidates had to go through the adoption process.

“The party has made a decision that anyone, who wants to aspire for any office in the party, whether councillor or member of parliament, is free to declare his interest. That doesn’t mean that once you declare interest, then you are adopted, no. All of them will go through the process of adoption. The constituency will make recommendations, then after that, it will go to the districts; after that, it will go to the province; after that, it will go to the central committee. So, if you announce, that doesn’t mean automatically you are adopted, no. You have to compete,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mwila said the party was delighted that most people had been captured as registered voters.

“As a party, we are very happy with the way the registration process went and we are happy that most of the people have been captured; they have registered as voters and we hope next year, all those that have registered will go and vote. It is very important that they exercise their right to vote in the general elections,” said Mwila.