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Thursday, 21 August 2008

A British funded election?

Some suggestions in The Times that the British government and its partners may be willing to fund the election. Holding the presidential elections within 90 days is certainly going to be challenging (or rather 88 days now, as the 90 days is triggered the moment the seat becomes vacant). The financial cushion might help, though I suspect the Electoral Commission of Zambia will need more than money. Zambia will need as many election monitors as the world can give us, if the legitimacy of the vote will not be questioned! Especially this one will be a very close contest if the Opposition can unify around a single candidate, as it appears the case.

One also hopes that hapless ECZ is busy organising the machinery, even
as I write, and not burying their head in the sand. There's also the small problem of the current register. The current register is old and will most certainly reduce the number of legal ballots. I fear many people will be disfranchised, in what is likely to prove the most popular election of recent times.

Interesting to see that the narrative which is emerging on the nature of the election is consistent with
my initial interpretation of the constitution. We are headed for a presidential bye election and not a general election. I have always said, it is foolish to expect MPs to dissolve themselves when they are enjoying their gratuities, when they don't have to. The new President will most certainly have to serve until 2011 to re-establish the parliament and presidential cycles. Though that still remains unclear from constitution. If the President was to serve up to 2013, it would actually be good. Having the Presidential cycle out of sync with the Parliamentary cycle would not be a bad idea. It helps to keep the President on his toes!

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