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Upon the invitation of the Zambian authorities, the European Union has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Zambia to observe the Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council elections scheduled for 11 August 2016, alongside a referendum on Bill of Rights. In line with established EU Methodology, the EOM will provide an informed and impartial analysis of the whole electoral process.
The mission is led by Chief Observer Cécile Kashetu Kyenge, an Italian Member of the European Parliament (MEP). While not interfering in any way in the electoral process, the EU EOM will assess whether the elections are in line with their international, regional and constitutional commitments and obligations, and whether the legal framework are in line with regional and universal standards for elections.
The EU EOM conducts a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process based on a consistent methodology that has been used since 2000 in over 70 elections in Africa, and many more around the world. The methodology is based on long-term observation, through which the EU EOM’s experts analyse all aspects of the electoral process, including:
For this comprehensive analysis, a Core Team of eight election experts were deployed to Lusaka on 29 June, to follow and analyse the election process from the beginning to the end.
Observers throughout Zambia
In order to observe the electoral process in the whole country, the EU EOM deploys 24 long-term observers (LTOs) to the ten provinces of Zambia. The observers, in teams of two, are deployed to their areas of responsibility one month before election day, where they prepare assessments of all aspects of the election process.
Shortly before election day, the LTO teams are reinforced by 54 short-term observers (STOs), who join them in all provinces to observe election-day activities at the polling stations. LTOs and STOs will also be joined by 30 diplomats from the EU Member States, as well as a delegation from the European Parliament, bringing the total number of EU EOM observers well beyond one hundred.
The EU observer team comprises of experts and observers form all 28 EU Member States, as well as from Norway.
The EU EOM’s assessment of the electoral process is independent of any EU institution or member state. Its purpose is to offer a comprehensive and impartial assessment of the electoral process and their compliance with Zambia’s national law, and with international and regional standards with regard to elections.
The EU EOM operates in accordance with the “Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation” adopted at the United Nations in 2005 by a number of international bodies involved in election observation. EU Observers adhere to a strict Code of Conduct that says they must maintain strict impartiality and neutrality, and abide by Zambian law.
Findings of the mission
A Preliminary Statement on the findings of the mission is issued shortly after Election Day. This statement, presented by the Chief Observer in a press conference in Lusaka two days after election day, outlines the EU EOM’s initial assessment prior to the completion of the electoral process. A comprehensive Final Report, with recommendations for future elections, will be published approximately two months later.
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