The National Dialogue Forum (NDF) has adopted some of the adopted resolutions on the proposed amendments to the Electoral Process Bill (EPB).
During plenary this morning, the forum among other proposed amendments, unanimously accepted the proposed amendment that allows Zambians living in the diaspora to take part in elections by voting for their preferred candidate.
The forum has also by consensus adopted the proposed amendment in section 2 of the electoral process Act to substitute campaign period from three months to 60 working days.
And Section 73A of the Electoral Process Amendment Bill has also been adopted by the Forum.
Section 73A (1) provides that any act or thing is required or is authorised to be done in the presence of a polling agent or counting agent or a candidate at the time and place appointed for that purpose shall not ,if the Act or thing is otherwise properly done, invalidate the Act or thing done.
The forum has also unanimously agreed to the proposed amendment of section 78 (1) that allows an accredited observer, in relation to an election for which that observer is accredited, to discharge the observer’s functions as set out in paragraph 10 of the Electoral Code of Conduct set out in the schedule.
And the forum has also adopted proposed recommendations in section 110 (2a, b and c) of the Electoral Process Amendment Bill which states that the Electoral Commission of Zambia may, depending on the severity of the conduct exhibited contrary to the Electoral Code of Conduct, set out in the schedule suspend political parties during an election, impose a fine on a candidate or political party and disqualify a candidate or political party from an election under this Act.
However, the Forum agreed that the word “May” be replaced with the word “Shall”.
The Forum has further adopted the electronic voter registration and voting, in line with section 74 which provides for electronic suisse of election results.
And in her submission during the deliberations, Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities (ZAPD), Acting Director General, Julian Mwape, welcomed the amendment of electronic voter registration and voting saying it will advantage alot of the disabled people especially in situations where they have no one to stand in for them or where they are faced with challenges in accessing the polling stations.
And speaking during a media briefing, NDF Spokesperson, Isaac Mwanza, indicated that the adopted proposed recommendations are still a work in progress, adding that they may be changed or reaffirmed according to how they seat in a Bill.