ECZ WILL NOT EXTEND NOMINATION PERIOD – LUHANGA OF ECZ

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ECZ WILL NOT EXTEND NOMINATION PERIOD – LUHANGA OF EC

THE Electoral Commission of Zambia says it cannot extend the nomination period for presidential candidates.

The nomination period opened yesterday and will close on Thursday, May 20, 2021.

Commission corporate affairs manager Patricia Luhanga updated journalists on yesterdays events at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka.

She confirmed that presidential nomination forms for PF’s Edgar Lungu, Enock Roosevelt Tonga of the Third Liberation Movement and Sean Tembo of the Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) have successfully been processed.

Nomination forms for running mates have also been processed.

Professor Nkandu Luo is the running mate for President Lungu, Bright Chomba for Tonga and Henry Muleya for Tembo.

“The other two candidates that were scheduled to have their nominations processed and filed in yesterday asked to re-schedule and these are Mr Andyford M. Banda, People’s Alliance for Change [and]Dr Trevor Musonda Mwamba of UNIP. We’ll update you on the time that has been given to them, to file in their nominations,” Luhanga said.

Asked about the reason behind the ‘failure’ by Banda and Mwamba to file in their nominations today, Luhanga answered that the re-scheduling is partly due to the duo’s programming.

“The Commission is mandated to take nominations up to May 20 and so we cannot deny a candidate an opportunity, if they come to us and say ‘look, my schedule is not conducive for me to do this,’” she explained.

“So, we are still processing other paper works and we’ll be able to accommodate them at the most convenient time.”

On whether or not there would be an extension of the presidential nomination period, in light of changes in the nomination timetable, like today’s, Luhanga indicated that: “the Commission cannot extend the nomination period.”

“But we can still work within the remaining time. Also note that if a candidate comes to the nomination centre within the stipulated time and the process is running way beyond schedule, we have a mandate to accommodate them, even if we go beyond the usual business hours,” noted Luhanga.

“So, we’ll not extend [the nomination period]but we’ll accommodate them on each particular day to process them.”

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