1. Short title
3. Administration, enforcement and prosecution
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
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
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
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
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
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
CORRUPT AND ILLEGAL PRACTICES AND ELECTION OFFENCES
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
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
OTHER QUESTIONS RELATING TO PARLIAMENT
106. Application to members and officers of Parliament
107. Effect of determination
ADDITIONAL POWERS AND COMMISSION AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
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
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.
This Act may be cited as the Electoral Act.
(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.
(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.
REGISTRATION OF VOTERS AND VOTERS 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.
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.
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.
(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.
(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;
(iv) date of birth;
(v) portrairt; and
(b) such other information as the Commission may prescribe.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
QUALIFICATIONS TO VOTE AND ADDITIONAL MATTERS RELATING TO ELECTIONS
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
(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:
(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.
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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