PF national chairperson Samuel Mukupa says the Electoral Commission of Zambia’s decision to set May 16 as the deadline for receiving nomination fees is an inconvenience to all key players.
And Mukupa says the party will seek an audience with the commission to make adjustments on the deadline.
This was after ECZ chief electoral officer Patrick Nshindano emphasised that presidential candidates should pay nomination fees between May 1 and 9, while candidates for National Assembly and Councils should pay between May 1 and 16, this year.
He said this was to allow sitting members of parliament and councillors wishing to recontest to pay nomination fees after the dissolution of parliament and councils.
“The Commission has noted concerns raised by some political parties and independent candidates on the period allocated for payment of nomination fees. The Commission would like to guide the stakeholders as follows; presidential candidates should pay nomination fees between 1st and 9th May, 2021 to allow for pre-processing of supporters scheduled for 10th May, 2021. Candidates for National Assembly and Councils should pay between 1st and 16th May, 2021 to accommodate the provisions of the dissolution of Parliament and Councils which has been set for 14th May, 2021. This will allow sitting members of parliament and councilors wishing to recontest to pay nomination fees after the dissolution of parliament and councils,” said Nshindano.
But in an interview, Mukupa said the party would seek an audience with ECZ to make adjustments, adding that they were currently having discussions with other key players in order to come up with a consensus.
“This observation is not only made by PF alone, I want to believe that this could be an inconvenience to everybody because obviously it doesn’t tally very well. So we are currently having discussions with all other key players in this regard so that we come up with a consensus. I believe that something can be done. If we are agreed as the players, it is within the competence of the Electoral Commission to make adjustments. We have noticed that this time table in some instances might not be convenient. But like I said, consensus is required among the key players. This is a political game, who are the people that want to be in office? It is all the political parties who have to be part of the consensus. I think what is important is to put our heads together and ask the ECZ to make the necessary adjustments,” Mukupa said.
Asked what would happen if the Commission failed to make adjustments, Mukupa said there was nothing that could stop ECZ from making necessary adjustments if the players reached a consensus.
“There is nothing stiff. We have had the engagements with ECZ. When you have reached a consensus, there is nothing that can stop ECZ from making necessary adjustments because we have all agreed to. Where the Commission is left with no option is where we are in a tug of war, then it will not be possible for ECZ to make necessary adjustments, but if we are all inconvenienced, I can’t see where they could have the difficulties because after all regulations are made to be part of everybody,” responded Mukupa.