Thursday, June 20, 2024

EU Election Observer Missions Preliminary Statement on Zambia’s General Elections

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The European Union Election Observation Mission described Zambia’s electoral process as technically well-managed but marred by unequal campaign conditions, restrictions on freedoms of assembly and movement, and abuse of
incumbency.

Chief Observer, Ms Maria Arena, said the election day was largely calm and generally well-administered despite long queues, which showed the devotion of the Zambian people to exercise their right to vote. She noted that the campaigns took place in a highly competitive environment, however despite the legal framework providing a reasonable basis for the conduct of democratic elections, selective application of laws and regulations, misuse of state resources and one-sided media reporting meant that a level playing field was not achieved.

Ms Maria Arena said political communication online featured divisive rhetoric during the campaign. Disinformation and tribalism pervaded the online debate to the detriment of voters. On election day, social media platforms such as Twitter,Facebook and Instagram as well as messaging applications including WhatsApp were restricted without the
ICT regulator explaining neither the reason nor the duration of such actions.

The Chief Observer called on all stakeholders to ensure that the electoral process is completed in a peaceful manner: “I urge political parties, candidates and citizens to await the announcement of the results calmly and peacefully. In addition, it will be important that any possible challenge to the results are handled in line with due process and as established by law.”

Below is the full press statement

A technically well-managed electoral process marred by unequal campaign conditions, restrictions on freedoms of assembly and movement, and abuse of incumbency

Upon the presentation of the preliminary statement, the Chief Observer, Ms Maria Arena, said: “Election day was largely calm and generally well-administered despite long queues, which show the devotion of the Zambian people to exercise their right to vote. On behalf of the mission, I want to express our sincere condolences to the family and relatives of the party official who lost his life on election day. Elections should be occasions of peaceful participation.”

Against the background of the COVID-19, the Electoral Commission of Zambia carried out its work professionally under challenging circumstances. In the preparation of the elections, technical aspects of the process were well managed.

Concerning the campaign, the Chief Observer noted: “The campaign took place in a highly competitive environment. Whereas the legal framework provided a reasonable basis for the conduct of democratic elections, selective application of laws and regulations, misuse of state resources and one-sided media reporting meant that a level playing field was not achieved.”

Political communication online featured divisive rhetoric during the campaign. Disinformation and tribalism pervaded the online debate to the detriment of voters. On election day, social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as well as messaging applications including WhatsApp were restricted without the ICT regulator explaining neither the reason nor the duration of such actions.

In her concluding remarks, the Chief Observer called on all stakeholders to ensure that the electoral process is completed in a peaceful manner: “I urge political parties, candidates and citizens to await the announcement of the results calmly and peacefully. In addition, it will be important that any possible challenge to the results are handled in line with due process and as established by law.”

It is important to note that, at this moment, critical stages of the process remain. In its preliminary assessment,the EU EOM is only commenting on observation undertaken up untill now. The EU EOM will stay in the country untill tabulation is completed and results are announced and will also accompany potential adjudication of petitions. The EU EOM will issue its final report, with recommendations for improving the electoral framework for future elections, at a later stage.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Maria Arena is of course right. Pity she didn’t wait a bit, so she could have included the uninformed press statement from Edgar China Lungu……

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  2. WELL SAID , MY YOUNG MAN NO CORRUPTION ZAMBIA, NO THIS STATEMENT DEPLOMATICALLY CLEARLY ADDRESSES LUNGU’PREMATURE STATEMENT THAT IS WHY SHE STATE THAT “I urge political parties, candidates and citizens to await the announcement of the results calmly and peacefully. In addition, it will be important that any possible challenge to the results are handled in line with due process and as established BY LAW.

    So wait and see , as we shall also use against their petition

  3. Fuseke. We know EUs agenda. They want their puppet master in power hh.but it won’t happen and they too know it. Wait for final result is all I will say.

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  4. Kaizer insoni ebuntu. Ku wire is now your potion and use your ill earned money wisely and cut down on your expenses pantu nipa complex again muku lomba ubwalwa

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  5. Despite the issues observed, the opposition still managed to send their message to their electorates and they responded very well. The opposition must be commended for being strong and determined despite the challenges and hurdles they encountered on the way.

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  6. Kolw3 Lungu has to go, the stup1d id1ot should just leave in peace, don’t forget those stinking yellow teeth of yours, kwindi iwe

  7. Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Honeybee Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Honeybee

    Just imagine if the field was even and the Opposition were accorded equal opportunity to campaign freely and same had access to the media… it was going to be a complete wipeout, a landslide of numbers close to 90%.
    What is Lungu and the ECZ’s next move now… try to manipulate the numbers and to close that more than 50% gap and try to force a re-run? Lungu needs to go in the 1st round as the margin is overwhelming.

  8. Kaizar mambala, you’re done. And your days of running the corridors of State House are done.

    FUSEKE Kaizar mambala, kawalala iwe

    Tu ma gogo na chi mpuno FUSEKE

  9. Nanga wamene akamba kuti his master has a chance nibani? Disillusionment can easily spiral into mental illness if not well handled. In the US we still have Trump supporters predicting and adjusting Trump inauguration so many months after the fact.

  10. Kaizar like Kampyongo is the same chap who will never be safe walking the streets of Zambia because the people know too well how much you have wronged us.

    Humility is very important guys. You can’t look down on the same people who vote you into office. Power is with the Zambian people.
    You thought you would be there forever. Takuli

    Seasons come and go
    Bye bye Kaizar, bye bye Lungu kikikikikikiki

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