THE United Party For National Development (UPND)has commended the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) for allowing observers into their restricted results receiving rooms for the first time in history to ensure that there is transparency in the electoral process.
UPND campaign manager Dipak Patel said in a statement yesterday that there was need for the ECZ to increase transparency in the electoral process as that would help calm public anxiety.
Mr Patel appealed to the electoral body to make public information concerning when, where and how all election materials were being received as well as set out a process of inspection for ballot papers which would include representatives from all the contesting political parties.
“We commend the ECZ for allowing observers into their restricted results receiving rooms for the first time in the history of our country. We now want to encourage and urge them to do more in order to increase transparency in the electoral process and calm public anxiety.
Mr Patel has called on the ECZ to allow independent and third party observers to travel on all Zambia Air Force (ZAF) planes and helicopters but that if the capacity of the aircrafts would not allow that to happen, then the ECZ should consider to carry the Christian Council Monitoring Group as impartial observers.
And when contacted for a comment ECZ public relations manager Cris Akufuna said that it was political agents rather than observers.
Mr Akufuna who was hesitant to state whether it would be the first time in the country’s history said that it was not observers but political agents that would be allowed into the restricted rooms.
“What you want to confirm its not observes that will be allowed but political agents,” he said. And Patriotic Front (PF) deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri said that the move was welcome, stating that the party would follow what the ECZ would decide because it was an independent institution and that they believed in their credibility.
Ms Phiri said that the electoral body was an impartial institution able to conduct free, fair and credible elections.
She said that she was happy that the UPND had commended the decision, emphasizing that the ECZ might have been vindicated.