Zambia Reports (Lusaka)

27 February 2013

Zambia: MMD Welcomes Postponement of Livingstone By-Election

Photo: CDDR-zambia
Zambian police beat and teargas opposition protesters.

Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) President Dr Nevers Mumba says the decision by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to postpone the Livingstone Central parliamentary by-elections has been made to tone down the tension in Livingstone.

But the PF have condemned the move by the ECZ and accused the commission of preying in the hands on UPND.

Mumba said although the former ruling party was ready to go to the polls tomorrow, the campaign team had welcomed the development.

"It has been unfortunate development because we campaign hoping to vote tomorrow. We were ready and we were confident that we would pull it off tomorrow," he said.

"Our hope is that the ECZ did the assessment that the situation in Livingstone was such that an election could not take place, if they did that assessment, then we are sure that the decision has been made to allow the tension to die down,"

And Mumba urged the ECZ to move in and see how the PF has manipulated the voter system in Mpongwe.

He said PF members had been caught collecting peoples voters cards.

"PF members have been caught with people voter's cards and my appeal to the Electoral Commission is to move in and intervene. We want to have confidence in the electoral system," he said.

Meanwhile, PF campaign manager for the Livingstone by-election Obvious Mwaliteta told journalists today that he was disappointed with the move by ECZ.

He said the UPND are happy now that the election has been postponed because they were scared of going to the polls tomorrow.

"This is what they wanted, they know the amount of work that PF has done on the grounds and they know that they were losing the election. We are very disappointed with the decision by ECZ because there were just praying in the hands of the opposition," he said.

Mwaliteta said the ruling party will continue to campaign in Livingstone ahead of the election which has been put off until March 14.

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