“The deployment of an election observation mission to Zambia for the fifth time, reflects the EU’s long-standing commitment to supporting the country’s democratization and reconciliation process,” said Maria Arena, Chief Observer and Member of the European Parliament from Belgium during a press conference yesterday, launching the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM).
The EU deployed the mission upon an invitation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Zambia to observe the 12 August general elections.
Eleven election analysts based in Lusaka and 32 long-term observers deployed across the country will be joined by locally recruited short-term observers closer to election day. On 12 August the EU EOM will comprise around 70 observers from EU member states and Norway.
“The 2021 general elections are taking place in a challenging environment both from a political and health perspective. The right to life and the right to vote are tightly knit together during this pandemic”, said Chief Observer, Maria Arena.
The EU EOM will assess compliance of the general elections with national legislation as well as with regional commitments and international standards.
The mission will issue a Preliminary Statement of its initial findings shortly after election day. A more comprehensive Final Report, including recommendations for future electoral processes, will be presented at a later stage, after the conclusion of the entire electoral process.
During her first visit to Zambia, Chief Observer, Maria Arena, met with the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, political parties, civil society and media organizations.
“The European Union Election Observation Mission stands ready to offer an impartial and independent assessment of the electoral process for consideration by the Zambian authorities, political parties and civil society. A level playing field, and trust in the process are requisite for holding peaceful elections”, the Chief Observer stated during a press conference in Lusaka.