President Edgar Lungu has informed the African Union (AU) election observer mission that efforts to amend the law on some concerns raised by the opposition political parties in previous elections failed because their Members of Parliament walked out of parliament.
President Lungu explained that electoral reforms that required the cooperation of the opposition political parties have not been successful because they walked out of Parliament in protest when progressive bills were tabled.
He said this when the African Union election observer mission paid a courtesy call on him at the State House today.
“Unless you agree on the basic rules, you cannot achieve consensus,” President Lungu said.
The President has meanwhile expressed concern over some election monitors and observers who allegedly want to influence the outcome of the polls.
He has since urged the mission to extensively engage with all stakeholders to appreciate the background of happenings in the Zambian democratic space.
He cited the brutal Killing of two Patriotic Front members in Kanyama constituency and the destruction of property as his impetus for the deployment of the military to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections.
“I want you to come back as elections observers and not to come back as peacekeepers” he said adding that, “my mandate is to ensure law and order in this country and I will ensure that this is done.”
And African Union observer mission delegation leader, Enerst Bai Koroma, commended government for the invitation to monitor the August 12, 2021 polls.
Dr. Koroma, who is also former President of Sierra Leone, informed President Lungu that the observer mission has already deployed delegates to all the ten provinces of Zambia to monitor the general elections.
He disclosed that the mission has carried out some activities prior to the election date.
“The larger part of the delegation arrived in the country on 4th August, and we have been engaging with major stakeholders to assess the preparedness on the election and to get views as well as concerns,” Dr. Koroma stated.
And African Union Commissioner Bankole Adeoye said Zambia is very special to the African Union because it is a beacon of hope and has a legacy of democracy.
Mr. Adeoye told President Lungu that the mission has so far held successful meetings with some electoral stakeholders in Zambia.
“We met the Electoral Commission of Zambia and The Law Association of Zambia in our efforts to ensure Zambia remains a beacon of hope,” he said.
The delegation met President Lungu as part of its stakeholder engagement ahead of the general elections that will be held on Thursday, August 12, 2021.