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By Times Reporter

THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has said it will start announcing the presidential election results from across the country by tomorrow morning.

ECZ chairperson, Florence Mumba said in Lusaka yesterday that announcements would be done at Mulungushi International Conference Centre (MICC) as the results pour in from the 150 constituencies.

“From totalling centres, the results will be taken to district centres where they will be transmitted electronically and by fax to MICC where the first announcement is expected by Friday morning,” Justice Mumba said.

She said national totals stating the winner would only be announced once the results from all the constituencies have been received.

Speaking when she launched the election result centre at MICC, Justice Mumba said the ECZ wanted to ensure that there was no confusion in the way the results are announced.

The MICC has been designed as the central place where election results from all the districts will be announced and given to the public through the media who will also be at the centre.

“The commission is ready for today’s election. The poll will start at 06.00 hours and close at 18:00 hours. Counting will immediately start at the various polling centres,” Mrs Justice Mumba said.

She said the system of delivering the results was safe because the marked ballots could only be accessed by returning officers at the district level.

Justice Mumba said the aim was to eliminate the chances of tampering with the results while in transit.

“Although this year’s presidential election has been a mammoth task and challenge, the commission will conduct it in transparency and fairness.

“ECZ has come a long way in its preparations and has put in place several measures to enhance transparency and stakeholder confidence in the electoral process,” Justice Mumba said.

She said the establishment of the election results centre was one such measure aimed at enhancing transparency.

And electoral officials from all the provinces said everything was in place for today’s election and assured the voting public that the polls would be conducted in a transparent and fair manner.

Those contesting the presidency are acting President, Rupiah Banda, who is standing on the MMD ticket, and the Patriotic Front leader, Michael Sata.

Others are United Party for National Development president, Hakainde Hichilema, and Heritage Party’s Godfrey Miyanda.
The election follows the death of president Levy Mwanawasa in a Paris military hospital on August 19.

© 2005 Times Printpak Limited. All Rights Reserved.
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