EU to monitor Zambian elections very closely

European Union says it will closely monitor voting and the release of results in next month’s election because this year’s polls are being held in a sensitive environment.

And the European Union (EU) says media freedom is important in any democratic elections.

Briefing the press in Lusaka on Friday, European Union Election Observation Mission chief observer Cecile Kyenge said the August 11 general elections were taking place in a sensitive environment.

She said the EU would also observe the voting pattern in Eastern Province following allegations that foreigners had been registered as voters.

“We have observers in Eastern Province and we will keep our eyes and ears to any such information. We will also closely follow the results. And if there is anyone with evidence, they can share with us,” Kyenge said.

“These elections are taking place in a sensitive environment, where it is the joint responsibility of all political parties, candidates, civil society organizations, media and the electoral administration to maintain a peaceful election process in which the democratic right of all Zambian citizens are respected.”

She said peaceful elections were important and hoped the coming polls would be held without violence.

“But let me reiterate that our job does not end with witnessing whether the elections are peaceful or not; we will look at all aspects of the electoral process; including the freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, the access to media, the campaign activities, voting, counting, tabulation, appeals and all other elements relating to the conduct of the election,” Kyenge said.

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