Zambian opposition parties denounced the choice of a Dubai-based company to print election ballots, and suggested that corruption and plans for vote-rigging played a role. The parties reacted after Zambia’s electoral commission announced Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing had won the contract to print the ballots that will be used in the August 11 general election. Jack Mwiimbu, head of legal affairs for the United Party for National Development (UPND), accused the electoral commission of trying to rig the polls for the governing Patriotic Front. He says the party has proof of some Zambians celebrating after the electoral commission announced the contract. He also questioned the cost of the contract — $3.5 million, a figure he says is $2 million higher than what the government paid previously.
“Zambia is undergoing severe economic and financial stress,” he said. “The Zambian government has no capacity to pay for that particular bid. They are relying on donors and the donors have also expressed their disquiet.”
Mwiimbu says the UPND strongly doubts the upcoming polls will be credible, and says the commission should rescind its decision.
The leader of another opposition party, the Forum for Democracy and Development, said the electoral commission’s decision could create tension and chaos.
Full Article: Zambia Opposition Groups Unhappy With Ballot Printer Choice.