The Electoral Commission of Zambia says printed ballots to be used in the August 11 elections will arrive in Lusaka on Thursday. ECZ officials said political party representatives would be at the airport in the capital to receive and inspect the ballots before they are transported to polling stations across the country. The ECZ awarded a contract to the Dubai-based al-Ghurair Printing Company to prepare all ballots to be used for the presidential, legislative and local elections and a referendum. Opposition parties, including the United Party for National Development, said the printing of ballots by a company outside the continent was too expensive and could be used by the government to rig the elections. Until this year, ballots for Zambian elections were printed in South Africa.
Jack Mwiimbu, the UPND’s head of legal affairs, said the decision could undermine the integrity of the elections. He also said the party had documentary proof of some Zambians celebrating after the chairman of the electoral commission, Justice Essau Chulu, officially declared that the Dubai company had won the ballot-printing contract.
Mwiimbu said the UPND strongly doubted that the upcoming polls would be credible. Edith Nawakwi, the leader of another opposition party, the Forum for Democracy and Development, said the ECZ decision on the ballot contract could create tension.
Full Article: Ballots for Zambian Elections to Arrive This Week.