Electoral disputes an evaluation of the electoral dispute resolution systems in Zambia
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Electoral Disputes are a highly probable outcome in any competitive electoral environment. History attests of a number of countries that have been engulfed in electoral disputes. Electoral disputes have a negative effect on the development of any nation. Indeed, electoral disputes can plunge the country in untold conflict and attendant misery. There is, therefore, need to devise Electoral Dispute Resolution (EDR) Systems that can effectively mitigate and resolve electoral disputes whenever they arise. There are various types of EDR Systems namely:- The Ordinary Courts, Special Electoral Courts, Constitutional Courts, Election Management Bodies, and Political Systems. In order for an EDR system to be effective, it should embody certain essential attributes notably: - transparency, accessibility, timeliness, independence, impartiality, relevance, sanctions and enforceability. Zambia has had its own fair share of electoral disputes particularly during parliamentary and presidential elections. These disputes have in certain cases been characterized with violence thereby threatening the peace and stability of the nation. Like most other countries, Zambia has a number of EDR Systems namely:- the Ordinary Courts, The Administrative System and the Political System. This essay made an evaluation of the effectiveness of these EDR systems in Zambia. A qualitative survey was conducted using purposive sampling. Individuals from thirteen (13) major organizations that are directly or indirectly involved in the electoral process were interviewed. The survey was augmented by a desk study on electoral disputes in general and the electoral laws and case law pertaining to Zambia in particular.
- Law