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Chief Observer Cécile Kashetu Kyenge, head of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Zambia visited Copperbelt Province to hold meetings with local stakeholders, political candidates and electoral administration ahead of the 11 August general elections. Ms Kyenge, who is a member of the European Parliament from Italy, met a group of civil society organizations on Saturday morning in Ndola to discuss their activities and their contribution to the electoral process.
At the roundtable meeting a number of Ndola-based civil society organizations were present. “During our discussion, we were pleased to note a strong dedication from civil society organizations. There is real will to contribute to civic and voter education aimed at enhancing effective citizen participation in the country’s democratic processes including the upcoming elections” – Chief Observer Kyenge said at a press briefing in Ndola. The Chief Observer expressed her hope that the hard work of the civil society organizations, as well as the presence of the EU observers, will have a positive contribution to the electoral process in Zambia.
Ms Kyenge added, “Our job is to prepare a comprehensive, impartial analysis of the whole process, and share it with the Zambian people after the elections are over. But our observations and recommendations would not fall on fertile ground if Zambian stakeholders, like these civil society organizations in Ndola, were not so engaged in promoting fundamental freedoms and the democratic rights for all Zambians”.
The EU EOM has been in Zambia since late June to conducts a long-term observation, and to analyze all aspects of the electoral process. It will assess the extent to which the elections comply with Zambian law, as well as with regional and international standards for elections. The EU EOM works independently to offer an impartial, balanced and informed analysis of the whole electoral process.
The election observation mission will present its initial findings shortly after electionday in a Preliminary Statement. A more comprehensive Final Report, including recommendations for future elections, will be published approximately two months after the end of the electoral process.