Long queues and generally peaceful environment characterized the polling stations that EU election observers visited in the early morning of election day. Chief Observer Cecily Kyenge said the huge number of people at the polling stations shows that Zambians understand the importance of elections, and they value their democratic rights.
The adoption of the "Bill on Protection of Reputation and Good Name and Freedom of Expression" by the Maldivian Parliament on 9 August imposes a number of restrictions on the freedom of expression, including restrictions on grounds of religion, defamation and social norms. The penalisation of defamation and the high penalties prescribed in the Bill pose a direct threat to media, political opposition and civil society in the Maldives. The penalisation of such acts, in a country where the independence and functioning of the judiciary is not in compliance with international standards, is aggravating the situation further.
At the end of the second quarter of the year, the European Union (EU) in Ghana released GHS 14.6 million (EUR 3.3 million) as the fourth and final disbursement to the government treasury in support of the 2016/17 Millennium Acceleration Framework (MAF) operational plan implemented by the Ministry of Health.
Election observation is a vital EU activity aiming to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law worldwide. It contributes to strengthening democratic institutions, building public confidence in electoral processes, helping to deter fraud, intimidation and violence. It also reinforces other key EU foreign policy objectives, in particular peace-building.