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Approximately half of the observed polling stations where the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) was present opened on time, while the rest of them opened with less than one hour of delay – Chief Observer Cecile Kyenge said on Thursday morning. EU observers reported that polling stations where they were present were peaceful at the time of the opening.
Chief Observer Cecile Kyenge presented some early information about the opening of the polling stations and the beginning of the voting procedure, when she visited Kalingalinga Middle Basic School in Lusaka. “We are happy to see so many people coming to vote – it shows that Zambians understand the importance of elections, and they value their democratic rights” - she said.
M Kyenge added that essential election material was available in the majority of the observed polling stations, and EU observers witnessed long queues of voters waiting patiently to cast their vote. By the time of their 7:30 AM report, EU observers have not witnessed any serious incident around polling stations.
The EU election observers reported that they were able to observe the voting process in the visited polling stations without any undue restriction so far. Ms Kyenge added, however, that the available information is based on the first reports that the mission received from its observer teams in the early morning, and more information will be coming in later during the day.
The EU EOM has on the ground over 120 observers who are following the voting process in all 10 provinces of Zambia. Observers report their observations throughout election day to the Core Team in Lusaka, which analyses the received data. On election day the mission focuses on the voting process, the counting and tabulation, and also the transmission of results.