Radical Revolutionary Party president Vincent Chaile has petitioned the Constitutional Court seeking a declaration that the nomination fees announced by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) are null and void.
In a petition filed in the Constitutional Court, Chaile further seeks an order of injunction to restrain the ECZ from proceeding with the hosting or holding of the general elections after the final determination of this matter.
The petitioner also seeks other reliefs as the court might deem fit and that ECZ be ordered to pay costs of and incidental to this petition.
Chaile stated that he is set to participate in the forthcoming general elections in August 2021.
He stated that that ECZ on July 16, 2020 issued a statement proposing an increment of nomination fees.
Chaile stated that ECZ proposed to revise upwards nomination fees for all the candidates for the forthcoming elections.
The proposed nomination fees were male presidential candidates would be required to pay K150,000 from K60,000 while female presidential candidate s and persons with disabilities will pay K120,000 from K60,000.
Male parliamentary candidates are required to pay K25,000 from K7,500 with female candidates, youth and persons with disabilities expected to pay K20,000 from K7,500.
For mayors, male candidates KK25,000 from K7,500 with female candidates, youth and persons with disabilities will pay k20,000 from k7,500, among others.
The fees were later revised for the 2021 general elections with male presidential expected to pay K95,000, females presidential K75,000 and K60,000 for youth and persons living with disabilities. Parliamentary male candidates was put at k15,000, females K13,500 while the youth and persons with disabilities will be required to pay K10,000, mayoral male K15,000, K13,500 for females while the youth and persons with disabilities expected to pay K10,000.
Chaile stated that ECZ and other stakeholders held various meetings where the stakeholders raised concerns that the proposed fees were too high and meant to deter the poor people from participating in the leadership of the country.
He complained that ECZ’s announcement of nomination fees at will and at any time in meetings or at press conferences is a direct infringement to the right to participate in an election.
He stated that elections are not for a profit venture but a fundamental part of the democratic process in which citizens easily participate.
Chaile wondered why political parties are invited to such meetings if they cannot hear out their concerns.
“I verily believe that the respondent elected to ignore the concerns raised by the petitioner and other stakeholders and thus excluding the youths and underprivileged but visionary adults from participating in politics,” stated Chaile.
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