Lusaka, Zambia’s electoral body on Tuesday suspended two major political parties from holding campaigns in some districts due to continued violence by the supporters.

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has suspended the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and the main opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) after they failed to tame their supporters from engaging in violence.

Chief Electoral Officer Patrick Nshindano said the two parties will not be allowed to conduct any campaigns in four districts namely Lusaka, Mpulungu, Nakonde and Namwala due to escalating violence seen in the districts.

He told reporters during a press briefing that it was unfortunate that the two parties have failed to restrain their supporters from engaging in violence as advised.

The suspension will be reviewed after 14 days, he said. The electoral chief has since called on the media not to cover the political activities of the two parties in the affected districts while the police have been urged to ensure that the suspension was adhered to.

The electoral body has also suspended the holding of road shows by all political parties ahead of the Aug. 12 elections due to increased cases of COVID-19.

According to the electoral chief, the political parties have started using road shows as mobile rallies following a ban of campaign rallies, a situation that was exposing people to the COVID-19 pandemic. The road shows were also being used to perpetrate violence.

(Agencies)