In consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Electoral Commission of Zambia has advised political parties not to hold huge campaign rallies in the run up to the 12th August elections.
Electoral Operations Director, Royd Katongo says the Commissions’ advice is in line with the technical committee’s prescribed operating procedures that will guide the electoral process before, during and after the elections. Mr. Katongo says the prescribed standards include, restrictions on the number of individuals to accompany aspiring candidates to 15, 10 and 9 people at Presidential, Mayoral and Councillorship levels respectively.
The Director says the Technical Committee’s prescribed standards further advise that meetings should not exceed one (1) hour and that cleaning and disinfection the venues must be conducted 30 minutes in-between verification processes of candidates and that schools will close earlier than 12th August. Mr. Katongo also reminded political parties to convey COVID-19 prevention messages as they sell their manifesto to prevent the spread of the pandemic and ensure the publics safety.
The Commissions’ Corporate Affairs Manager, Patricia Luhanga refuted reports circulating on social media that the Commission had banned political rallies during this years’ campaigns which commence on Wednesday 12th May, 2021. Ms Luhanga emphasized that the Commission is only discouraging huge gatherings because they are potential super spreader events of the coronavirus and is instead encouraging political parties to utilize alternative methods of reaching the electorate.