Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG) says based on its Parallel Voter Tabulation (PVT),Zambians should have considerable confidence that the official election results as announced by the Electoral Commission of Zambia reflect the ballots cast at polling stations.
CCMG a coalition comprising four faith based organisations namely, the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ), the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ), the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) and the Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) and with Caritas Zambia under ZEC says an independent verification of the official results shows that not only are the ECZ’s official results consistent with the PVT estimates, but that voting and counting proceeded with only minor issues at the overwhelming majority of polling stations and polling streams.
The CCMG points out that the PF had party agents at 93% of polling stations during counting and at just 3% of those stations did PF party agents not sign the official results, while at 97% of polling stations a UPND party agent was present during counting and again at only 3% of polling stations did the UPND party agent not sign the official results form.
They further add that at 98% of polling stations all political party agents present were given a copy of the official results form and at 98% of polling stations the official results were also posted for the public to see.
The CCMG says all of this clearly demonstrates that it was a credible process and that the ECZ’s official results reflect the ballots cast at polling stations and polling streams.
The CCMG has since called on the winners to be magnanimous in victory and for those who did not make it this time to recognize that this is not the country’s last election, but that voters will go to the polls again in 2016 and hence all candidates and parties will have another opportunity to convince voters that they have the best policies for the country and would make the best representatives of the people.
The CCMG has however expressed concern with the low voter turnout despite the credibility of the Election Day processes.
They note that low voter participation undermines the credibility of the democratic institutions and elected leaders.
The CCMG says there is need for more analysis to be understand why voters did not participate and how to ensure a higher voter turnout in 2016.