By DAVID KANDUZA –
THE European Union (EU) has called for voter education to enhance effective participation in next month’s elections.
EU Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) chief observer Cecille Kyenge said this yesterday when she met some Copperbelt civil society organisations at Mukuba Hotel in Ndola to discuss their activities and contributions to the electoral process.
Ms Kyenge said the voters were an important component in the electoral process and that having met Ndola-based civil society organisations, the mission was pleased with their strong dedication.
“There is real will to contribute to civic and voter education aimed at enhancing effective citizen participation in Zambia’s democratic processes,” she said.
Ms Kyenge expressed happiness that the presence of EU observers and civil society organisations in next month’s elections would have a positive contribution to the electoral process in Zambia.
She said the EU observers’ assignment in the elections was to prepare a comprehensive, impartial analysis of the electoral process and share it with Zambians after the elections.
“But our observations and recommendations would not fall on fertile ground if stakeholders are not engaged in promoting fundamental freedoms and the democratic rights for all Zambians,” she said.
The EU EOM has been in Zambia since June to conduct a long-term observation and to analyse the electoral process.
The EU EOM is a team of international observers and experts who were invited to Zambia by the Government to observe next month’s elections.
It would also assess the extent to which the elections comply with Zambian laws and regional and international standards for elections.
The EU EOM works independently to offer an impartial, balanced and informed analysis of the electoral process.
Ms Kyenge said the election observer mission would present its initial findings after the Election Day in a preliminary statement.
“A more comprehensive final report, including recommendations for future elections, will be published two months after the electoral process,” she said.