The man who came second in last week’s Zambian special presidential election has called for a new constitution that will ensure a truly independent electoral commission. Hakainde Hichilema of the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) said the current commission serves the interest of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party because its members are appointed by the president. The election commission said PF candidate Edgar Lungu won 48.3 percent of the vote, while Hichilema finished second with 46.7 percent. … Asked if he will run again in the next presidential election, Hichilema said he would leave that decision up to his party’s central committee to decide. He said Zambia needs electoral reform.
“The issue is we need an electoral reform that will not allow the electoral commission who [acts as] a referee, but acts as a scorer when there’s no goalkeeper in the goal. That’s what the electoral commission of Zambia staff was doing, nonstop,” he said.
Hichilema also said future election results should be transmitted to the constituent tally centers with full stakeholder representation before results can be declared.
“We need to have a truly independent electoral commission, which is not what we have now because what we have now, the retaining officer for presidential election results is the Chief Justice, who is appointed by the ruling party, and the ruling party is a competitor in the election. You cannot have the referee as well as being a scorer in the game of soccer,” Hichilema said.
Full Article: Zambia’s Losing Candidate Wants Electoral Reform.