CHAPTER 13
ELECTORAL ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

   3.   Administration, enforcement and prosecution

PART II
REGISTRATION OF VOTERS AND VOTERS ROLL

   4.   Voter’s roll

   5.   Qualification for registration as voter

   6.   Application for registration as voter

   7.   Disqualification from registration as voter

   8.   Registration in voters register for constituency

   9.   Application to change registration details

   10.   Amendments to voter’s roll

   11.   Notification by election officer

   12.   Appeal against decision of election officer

   13.   General registration of voters

   14.   Objections to voter’s roll

   15.   Publication and copies of voter’s roll

PART III
QUALIFICATIONS TO VOTE AND ADDITIONAL MATTERS RELATING TO ELECTIONS

   16.   Qualifications for voting

   17.   Identification of voter

   18.   One vote and secrecy

   19.   Disqualifications from voting

   20.   Election to office of President

   21.   Nomination of presidential candidate

   22.   Additional disqualification for election to National Assembly

   23.   Election fee

   24.   Special vote

PART IV
DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT, ELECTION ACTIVITIES AND MATERIALS

   25.   Proclamation of dissolution of Parliament

   26.   Election timetable

   27.   Electoral campaign

   28.   General postponement of election

   29.   Postponement of voting at polling station

   30.   Re-voting at polling station

   31.   Voter’s roll for election

   32.   Nomination date

   33.   Nomination for election

   34.   Nomination in one constituency

   35.   Appointment of election agents and polling agents

   36.   Powers and duties of election and polling agents

   37.   Establishment of Polling Districts

   38.   Criteria for determining polling district boundaries

   39.   Inspection and copies of maps of polling districts

   40.   Establishment of polling stations

   41.   Relocation of polling station in emergencies

   42.   Ballot paper

   43.   Design of ballot paper

   44.   Ballot boxes

   45.   Voting compartments

   46.   Voting materials

PART V
ELECTION OFFICERS

   47.   Appointment of presiding officer

   48.   Powers and duties of presiding officer

   49.   Appointment of polling officers

   50.   Powers and duties of polling assistant

   51.   Appointment of counting assistant

   52.   Powers and duties of counting assistant

   53.   Appointment of additional persons

   54.   Powers and duties of additional persons

   55.   General provisions concerning appointment of election officer

PART VI
POLLING DAY ACTIVITIES

   56.   Election officers at polling stations

   57.   Hours of voting

   58.   Initial procedures

   59.   Voting procedure

   60.   Assistance to certain voters

   61.   Issue of new ballot paper

   62.   Objections concerning voting

   63.   Sealing of full ballot boxes

   64.   Completion of ballot paper account and sealing of voting materials

   65.   More than one election on same day

   66.   Place and time of counting of votes

   67.   Counting of votes and determination of provisional results

   68.   Objections concerning sorting of ballot papers

   69.   Objections concerning counting of votes and determination of provisional results

   70.   Procedure concerning provisional results and voting materials

   71.   Verification procedure for votes counted elsewhere

   72.   Objections concerning verification procedure

   73.   Application of certain sections

   74.   Determination and declaration of final result of election

PART VII
OBSERVERS, MONITORS AND VOTER EDUCATION

   75.   Accreditation of observers and monitors

   76.   Powers and duties of accreditation of observers and monitors

   77.   Voter education

   78.   Provision of voter education generally

PART VIII
CORRUPT AND ILLEGAL PRACTICES AND ELECTION OFFENCES

   79.   Bribery

   80.   Impersonation

   81.   Treating

   82.   Undue influence

   83.   Illegal practice of publishing false statements in respect of candidates

   84.   Illegal practice in respect of nomination of candidates

   85.   Illegal practices in respect of public meetings

   86.   Illegal practices relating to the poll

   87.   Penalty for illegal practices

   88.   Election offences

   89.   Property in certain election material

   90.   Secrecy and penalty for breach of secrecy

   91.   Offences by election officers

   92.   Offences by printers and publishers

PART IX
ELECTION PETITIONS

   93.   Avoidance of elections

   94.   Presentation of election petition

   95.   Relief which may be claimed in election petition

   96.   Form and procedure for presentation of election petition

   97.   Duty of Registrar to make out list of election petition

   98.   Rules of practice and procedure, security for costs, etc

   99.   Withdraw of election petition

   100.   Substitution of new petitioners

   101.   Abatement of election petitions

   102.   Trial of election petitions

   103.   Provisions as to witnesses

   104.   Conclusion of trial of election petition

   105.   Provisions as to costs

PART X
OTHER QUESTIONS RELATING TO PARLIAMENT

   106.   Application to members and officers of Parliament

   107.   Effect of determination

PART XI
ADDITIONAL POWERS AND COMMISSION AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

   108.   By-elections

   109.   Electoral Code of Conduct and other codes

   110.   Powers to decide objections and appeals

   111.   Constitution of conflict management committees

   112.   Assignment of powers and duties by Commission

   113.   Assignment of powers and duties by Director of Elections

   114.   Printing, manufacture, use, removal etc of election materials

   115.   Ownership of voting and election material and disposal

   116.   Effect of certain irregularities

   117.   Inspection and copying of documents

   118.   Limitation of liability

   119.   When incapacity may be removed

   120.   No person required to state how person voted

   121.   Evidence as to holding of election

   122.   Validation of certain documents

   123.   Powers of officer

   124.   Obstruction of officer

   125.   Power of arrest

   126.   Immunity of officer

   127.   General defence

   128.   General penalty

   129.   Regulatory powers of Commission

   130.   Repeal of Electoral Act

      SCHEDULE

AN ACT

to provide for a comprehensive process for elections to the office of President and to the National Assembly; to empower the Electoral Commission of Zambia in matters relating to elections and enable the Commission to make regulations providing for the registration of voters and for the manner of conducting elections; to provide for offences and penalties in connection with elections; to provide for the appointment of conflict management officers; to provide for election petitions and the hearing and determination of applications relating to elections to Parliament; to repeal and replace the Electoral Act, 1991; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

[19th May, 2006]

Act 12 of 2006.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Electoral Act.

2.   Interpretation

   (1) In this Act unless the context otherwise requires—

“ballot box” means a box prescribed by the Commission for the purpose of an election;

“ballot paper” means the document prescribed by the Commission in respect of an election;

“ballot paper account” means a document prescribed by the Commission for purposes of recording the ballot papers issued to a returning officer and completed by a presiding officer at the close of a poll;

“by-election” means an election held in accordance with section 108;

“candidate” means any person nominated as a candidate for an election;

“code” means a code issued by the Commission under section 109 and includes the Electoral Code of Conduct;

“Commission” means the Electoral Commission of Zambia established under the Constitution;

“conflict management officer” means an officer appointed as such under section 111;

“constituency” means any of the constituencies into which Zambia is divided under the Constitution;

“Constitution” means the Constitution set out in the Schedule to the Constitution of Zambia Act;

“counting assistant” means a person appointed as a counting assistant by the Commission;

“corrupt practice” means any offence against this Act which is declared under this Act to be a corrupt practice;

“costs” includes charges and expenses;

“direct elections” means an election to the office of President or an election for a member of the National Assembly;

“Director of Elections” means the person appointed Director of Elections by the Commission;

“election” means a direct election and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly;

“election agent” means an agent of a candidate for the purpose of that election who has been specified by the candidate in that candidate’s nomination paper;

“election officer” means a person appointed by the Commission to be—

      (a)   a registration officer;

      (b)   an assistant registration officer;

      (c)   an electoral officer;

      (d)   a returning officer;

      (e)   a presiding officer;

      (f)   a polling assistant; or

      (g)   a counting assistant;

and includes any person appointed to assist an election officer or the Director of Elections where functions are conferred on the Director of Elections under this Act, in respect of any election;

“election petition” means an election petition referred to in section 94;

“election timetable” means a timetable for an election published by the Commission under section 26;

“Electoral Code of Conduct” means the Electoral Code of Conduct prescribed by the Commission under section 109;

“high judicial office” has the meaning assigned to it in the Constitution;

“illegal practice” means any offence against this Act which is declared under this Act to be an illegal practice;

“member” means an elected member of the National Assembly;

“national registration card” means a national registration card issued under and in terms of the National Registration Act;

“national registration number” means the serial number inserted on a national registration card issued under the National Registration Act;

“nomination day” means the day appointed by the Commission as the day on which candidates file their nomination papers with the Commission;

“nomination office” means a place prescribed by the Commission as a nominating office;

“nomination paper” means a document prescribed by the Commission for the purpose of a candidate registering their intention to contest an election under this Act;

“officer” means an officer appointed by the Commission under section 3 and who has been issued with a certificate under that section;

“petitioner” means, in relation to an election petition, any person referred to in section 95 who signs and presents an election petition under section 96 and includes any person substituted for a petitioner under section 101 or section 102;

“political party” means an organisation registered under the Societies Act the objects of which include any political activity or the sponsoring of candidates for election to the office of President or as a member of the National Assembly;

“polling agent” means an agent appointed by a candidate in respect of each polling station;

“polling assistant” means a person appointed polling assistant by the Commission;

“polling day” means—

      (a)   in relation to a general election, a day appointed by the President for the taking of the poll in a general election;

      (b)   in relation to a by-election, a day appointed by the Commission for the taking of the poll in a by-election;

“polling district” means a polling district established by the Commission as a polling district under section 38;

“polling station” means a place established as a polling station by the Commission under section 40;

“prescribed” means prescribed by the Commission by statutory instrument;

“presiding officer” means a person appointed as presiding officer by the Commission;

“registered” means registered in a register of voters under this Act and

“registration” shall be construed accordingly;

“register of voters” means a register of voters for any constituency, or part of a constituency, prepared and maintained under this Act;

“registered voter” means a person who has been registered as a voter under section 8;

“registration officer” means a person appointed registration officer by the Commission;

“Registrar” means the Registrar of the High Court and includes Deputy Registrar, District Registrar, and Assistant Registrar;

“respondent” has the meaning assigned to it in sub-section (4) of section 96;

“Returning Officer” in relation to the election of a President, means the Returning Officer specified in the Constitution;

“voter” means a person who is entitled to vote at the relevant election;

“voters card” means a voter’s registration card prescribed and issued by the Commission; and

“voters roll” means a register of voters.

   (2) For the purposes of this Act, the expression “election expenses” means expenses incurred, whether before, during or after an election, on account of, or in respect of, the conduct or management of such election by, or on behalf of, a candidate:

Provided that the following expenses shall not be deemed to be election expenses—

      (a)   any money expended or expenses incurred by any association or group of persons or by any person in the general interests of a political party or organisation or its candidates generally, not being money expended or expenses incurred directly in the particular interests of any particular candidate or expenditure incurred by a political party with the consent of a candidate and apportioned to such candidate under this Act;

      (b)   any money expended or expenses incurred by any political party or organisation in the printing, publication or distribution of the official symbol of that political party or organisation; or

      (c)   any election fee.

   (3) For the avoidance of doubt, every person interpreting this Act and any regulations made under it shall—

      (a)   do so in a manner that gives effect to the guarantees and responsibilities contained in the Constitution;

      (b)   take into account any appropriate code.

3.   Administration, enforcement and prosecution

   (1) This Act shall be administered and enforced by the Commission:

Provided that in the exercise of its functions under the Constitution and this Act, the Commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.

   (2) In order to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Act the Commission shall appoint such number of officers as it may consider necessary.

   (3) Every officer shall be provided with a certificate of appointment which shall be prima-facie evidence of the officer’s appointment as such.

   (4) An officer shall, on demand by a person affected by the exercise of the powers of the officer under this Act, produce for inspection the certificate referred to in sub-section (3).

   (5) The Anti-Corruption Commission shall investigate and prosecute any corrupt practice committed under this Act in accordance with the Anti-Corruption Commission Act.

   (6) The Zambia Police Force shall enforce law and order at a polling station and undertake any criminal proceedings, subject to sub-section (2), in respect of any offence committed by any person in contravention of this Act or any regulations issued under this Act.

PART II
REGISTRATION OF VOTERS AND VOTERS ROLL

4.   Voter’s roll

   (1) The Commission shall compile and maintain a voters’ roll in the manner and style prescribed by the Commission.

   (2) The Commission shall compile, maintain and update on a continuing basis, a register of voters, which shall include the names of all persons entitled to vote in any election under this Act, local government election under the Local Government Elections Act or referendum under the Referendum Act:

Provided that the register of voters shall not preclude any person from voting in a referendum under Article 79(3) of the Constitution.

   (3) The Commission may suspend the registration of voters whenever an election is due.

   (4) Where the Commission prescribes the polling day for a by-election, the Commission shall immediately suspend the registration of voters in the district in which the by-election is to take place.

5.   Qualification for registration as voter

Subject to the provisions of section 7, every person shall be qualified for registration as a voter in direct elections who—

      (a)   is a citizen of Zambia;

      (b)   has attained the age of eighteen years; and

      (c)   is in possession of a national registration card.

6.   Application for registration as voter

A person applying for registration as a voter—

      (a)   shall do so in the manner prescribed by the Commission; and

      (b)   may register in any constituency of the person’s choice:

Provided that the person shall not register in more than one constituency.

7.   Disqualification from registration as voter

   (1) No person shall be qualified for registration as a voter, and no person shall be registered as a voter, who—

      (a)   is under a declaration of allegiance to some country other than Zambia;

      (b)   is not a citizen of Zambia;

      (c)   has applied for registration fraudulently or otherwise than in the prescribed manner;

      (d)   under any law in force in Zambia, is adjudged or otherwise declared to be of unsound mind, or is detained under the Criminal Procedure Code during the pleasure of the President;

      (e)   is disqualified from voting under section 19;

      (f)   is under sentence of death imposed by any court in Zambia, or a sentence of imprisonment imposed by such a court or substituted by any competent authority for some other sentence imposed by such a court; or

      (g)   is not in possession of a national registration card.

   (2) In this section, the reference to a sentence of imprisonment shall be construed as not including a sentence of imprisonment the execution of which is suspended or a sentence of imprisonment imposed in default of payment of a fine.

8.   Registration in voters register for constituency

   (1) A person qualified for registration under section 5 and not disqualified for registration under section 7, shall be registered as a voter in the register of voters for any constituency of the person’s choice, as may be prescribed.

   (2) A person’s name shall not be entered in the voters register for more than once in any constituency.

   (3) A person’s who has been registered in the register of voters shall be issued with a voter’s card.

   (4) A voter’s card shall contain—

      (a)   the individual’s—

      (i)   full names;

      (ii)   residential address;

      (iii)   sex;

      (iv)   date of birth;

      (v)   portrairt; and

      (b)   such other information as the Commission may prescribe.

9.   Application to change registration details

   (1) A registered voter or person who has applied for registration as a voter and whose name or ordinary place of residence has changed, shall apply, in the prescribed manner, to have that change recorded in the voters’ roll or in that person’s application, except that a person need not apply when a change of name is due to change in marital status.

   (2) If satisfied that a person’s application complies with this Act, the election officer shall, subject to the provisions of sub-section 4 record the change in the voters’ roll.

10.   Amendments to voter’s roll

   (1) An election officer shall—

      (a)   change the registration details of a voter if the election officer is satisfied that the details of that voter as reflected in the voters’ roll is incorrect or have changed;

      (b)   deregister a voter, if the election officer is satisfied that the voter does not qualify, or no longer qualifies, for registration;

      (c)   add the name and other prescribed particulars of a voter resulting from a new registration; or

      (d)   delete the name of any person who is deceased.

   (2) The election officer shall record in the voters’ roll or on a person’s application any change in polling districts for which a person is registered as a voter or has applied for registration, if that person’s place of ordinary residence after a change in the boundaries of the polling district falls in another polling district.

11.   Notification by election officer

   (1) An election officer shall notify, in the prescribed manner, a person—

      (a)   whose application under section 6 for registration as a voter has been refused;

      (b)   whose application under section 9 to have a change of name or ordinary place of residence recorded, has been refused;

      (c)   who has been deregistered as a voter under section 10; or

      (d)   whose registration details have been changed under section 10.

   (2) The notification given under sub-section (1), shall give reasons for the refusal or action taken.

12.   Appeal against decision of election officer

   (1) A person referred to in section 11 who feels aggrieved by a decision or action taken by an election officer under sections 7 or 10 may appeal to the Commission against the decision or action taken, in the prescribed manner.

   (2) The Commission, in the prescribed manner, shall consider and decide the appeal and notify the appellant and election officer of its decision.

13.   General registration of voters

   (1) The Commission shall, for the compilation of the voters’ roll specified in section 4, conduct a general registration of voters.

   (2) The Commission may prescribe cut-off dates in respect of the general registration of voters and the compilation of the voters’ roll, including the date by which—

      (a)   any person who wants to be included in the voters’ roll shall have applied for registration as a voter under section 6 or for the change of registration details under section 9;

      (b)   an election officer shall notify a person under section 11;

      (c)   an appellant may appeal in terms of section 12;

      (d)   the Commission shall consider and decide the appeal and notify the appellant and the election officer of the decision;

      (e)   the election officer shall give notice of the periods during which, and the venue where, a provisionally compiled voters’ roll shall be available for inspection;

      (f)   any objections under section 14 in respect of a provisionally compiled voters’ roll shall be made;

      (g)   the Commission shall decide an objection made under section 14 and notify the objector and the election officer and a person other than the objector whose name or registration details are involved; and

      (h)   an election officer shall complete the compilation of the voters’ roll and publish it.

14.   Objections to voter’s roll

   (1) Any person may object to the Commission, in the prescribed manner, to any segment of the voters’ roll or a provisionally compiled voters’ roll to—

      (a)   the exclusion of any person’s name from that segment;

      (b)   the inclusion of any person’s name in that segment; or

      (c)   the correctness of any person’s registration details in that segment.

   (2) A person who objects to the exclusion or inclusion of the name of another person, or to the correctness of that person’s registration details, shall serve notice of the objection on that person.

   (3) The Commission shall decide an objection, except for an objection in relation to a provisionally compiled voters’ roll, not later than fourteen days after the objection was made and notify the following persons of the decision—

      (a)   the person who made the objection;

      (b)   the election officer; and

      (c)   in the case of an objection against the exclusion or inclusion of the name, or the correctness of the registration details, of a person other than the objector, that other person.

   (4) An election officer shall give effect to a decision of the Commission, under sub-section (3), within three days.

15.   Publication and copies of voter’s roll

   (1) A copy of the voters’ roll as it exists at any time shall be available for inspection during office hours at the Commission’s head office; and the provincial and district segments of the voters’ roll shall be available for inspection at the times and venues mentioned in a notice published by the Director of Elections in the Gazette.

   (2) An election officer shall provide a certified copy of, or extract from, a segment of the voters’ roll as it exists at that time, to any person who has paid the prescribed fee.

PART III
QUALIFICATIONS TO VOTE AND ADDITIONAL MATTERS RELATING TO ELECTIONS

16.   Qualifications for voting

Subject to the provisions of sections 17, 18, and 19, every person who is registered in a register of voters for a constituency shall be entitled to vote at a direct election held in that constituency.

17.   Identification of voter

Every person shall, whenever the person wishes to vote at a direct election, identify oneself to an election officer in such manner as may be prescribed.

18.   One vote and secrecy

   (1) No person shall be entitled to vote more than once in the same election in accordance with this Act and as may be prescribed.

   (2) Every poll shall be taken by means of a secret ballot in accordance with this Act and as may be prescribed.

19.   Disqualifications from voting

No person shall be entitled to vote at a direct election who—

      (a)   has been convicted of any corrupt practice or illegal practice within a period of five years preceding that election;

      (b)   has been reported guilty of any corrupt practice or illegal practice by the High Court upon the trial of any election petition under this Act within a period of five years preceding that election; or

      (c)   at the date of the election is in lawful custody or the person’s freedom of movement is restricted under any law in force in Zambia.

20.   Election to office of President

An election to the office of the President shall be held in every constituency in Zambia in accordance with this Act and as may be prescribed.

21.   Nomination of presidential candidate

   (1) A candidate for election as President shall, on such day, at such time and at such place, as may be determined by the Commission, deliver to the Returning Officer—

      (a)   the candidate’s nomination paper;

      (b)   the prescribed election fee;

      (c)   the prescribed statutory declaration of the candidate’s assets and liabilities; and

      (d)   an oath or affirmation, as set out in the Schedule, of the candidate’s Zambian citizenship, and of that candidate’s parents being Zambian citizens by birth or descent:

Provided that—

      (i)   subject to sub-paragraph (ii), the contents of the documents referred to in this section shall be accepted prima facie, by the Returning Officer, as complying with the law as to qualification for election as President;

      (ii)   notwithstanding sub-paragraph (i), if the Returning Officer is satisfied that clause (5)(a) or (c) of Article 34 or clause (2) of Article 35 of the Constitution has not been complied with, the Returning Officer shall immediately reject the nomination of the candidate.

   (2) The nomination paper shall be signed by not less than two hundred registered voters:

Provided that no registered voter shall, for the purposes of this sub-section, support more than one presidential candidate.

   (3) Any question, by any person, which may arise as to whether any provision of the Constitution or any law relating to nomination or election of President has been complied with shall be referred, by such person to the full bench of the Supreme Court within fourteen days of the person elected as President being sworn in, in accordance with clause 9 of Article 34 of the Constitution.

   (4) A person who swears or affirms falsely under this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term of seven years without the option of a fine.

22.   Additional disqualification for election to National Assembly

In addition to the persons disqualified by the Constitution—

      (a)   an election officer shall not be qualified for election as a member of the National Assembly; and

      (b)   any person who is convicted of any corrupt practice or illegal practice or who is reported guilty of any corrupt practice or illegal practice by the High Court upon the trial of an election petition under this Act shall not be qualified for election as a member of the National Assembly for a period of five years from the date of the conviction or of the report, as the case may be.

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