The European Union (EU)has offered to help Zambia implement the recommendations of its Election Observation Mission which include repealing of the Public Order Act.
Chief Observer Maria Arena said that the Public Order Act has been selectively applied to restrict freedom of assembly, movement, and expression contrary to international standards.
Ms. Arena said that the recommendation to repeal the Public Order Act is meant to ensure the law adheres to regional and international standards for freedom of assembly movement and expression.
Speaking during the presentation of the EU Election Observation Mission final report on the 2021 General election, Ms. Arena said the mission has also recommended for the revision of candidacy requirement to enhance the rights and opportunities for people to contest elections
She cited the requirement for people wishing to contest elections to hold a grade 12 certificate as limiting and contrary to Zambia’s commitment.
Ms. Arena also recommended the enactment of a law on political parties stipulating registration requirements and guaranteeing internal party democracy, transparency, and accountability with adequate institutional oversight.
She further proposed to remove from the law undue campaign privileges for the President and Vice president to ensure equal campaign conditions for all candidates.
The Mission also proposed to formalize cooperation between the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), civil society, and main social media platforms.
Ms. Arena said it is entirely up to the Zambian authorities and institutions to take any of the 22 recommendations for electoral reforms on board.
She congratulated Zambia for the peaceful transition of power in the 2021 General election.