Sanday Chongo Kabange in Berlin, Germany
17 Zambians have shown their interest in contesting the country’s presidency in the forthcoming presidential vote.
Zambia goes to the polls on September 20, 2011 and the political situation in the southern Africa state is tensing up as allegations of corruption and bribery emerge in the run up to the voting day.
Several political parties are contesting this year’s polls, including three “heavy weights.”
According to the country’s electoral body, seven aspiring presidential candidates are to push in their nominations within the coming weeks.
Electoral Commission of Zambia spokesperson, Chris Akufuna said in Lusaka, Thursday (August 04), “The filing of presidential nominations will commence on Sunday 7th August through to 11th August, 2011″.
Akufuna said aspiring presidential candidates will lodge their nominations papers at the Supreme Court before the Chief Justice who is the returning officer.
He said the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) presidential candidate will be first to file nominations together with presidential candidates from United National Independence Party (UNIP) and Zambians for Empowerment and Development (ZED) on 7th August.
On Monday, 8th August presidential candidates from the United Party for National Development (UPND), National Restoration Party (NAREP) and National Movement for Progress (NMP) will file nominations, while on Tuesday 9th August candidates from the Patriotic Front (PF), National Revolution Party (NRP) and Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) will lodge their nominations.
Presidential candidates from the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), People’s Redemption Party (RPP) and Zambia Direct Democracy Movement (ZDDM) will file nominations on Wednesday 10th August, with those from the Heritage party (HP), United Nationalists Party (UNP) and the Zambian Conservative Party (ZCP) filing nominations on Thursday, 11th August.
Candidates from the Zambia Progressive Party and Revolutionary Communist Party will complete the nomination process on Friday, 12th August, 2011.
The September 20 elections are generally expected to be peaceful and calm although incidents of sporadic violence cannot be ruled out.
The media, local and international observers will monitor this year’s elections and the police have indicated they will beef up presence in all polling stations to quell any violence outbreak.