In response to an invitation by the Zambian authorities, the European Union has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Zambia to observe the Presidential, Parliamentary, Mayoral and Council Chairpersons, and Local Government elections which are scheduled for 11 August. This is the fourth time that the European Union is observing elections in Zambia (previously in 2001, 2006 and 2011), which reflects the EU's long-term commitment to supporting credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country.
Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, appointed as Chief Observer Cecile Kashetu Kyenge, Member of the European Parliament.
The High Representative stated: "The upcoming elections are expected to be one of the most competitive in the country's history and can further consolidate Zambia's track record for well-run elections. I trust that these forthcoming elections will be transparent and peaceful, with all sides refraining from actions and statements that may incite violence. Of course, all parties should abide by the law and resolve any election dispute through dialogue and available legal remedies. Under the leadership of Chief Observer Kyenge, I am confident that the EU EOM will make an important contribution to this electoral process".
The Chief Observer, Kyenge, declared: "I am honoured to lead the EU EOM to Zambia. The forthcoming general elections will be a key moment in the country's development, and I trust they will set an example of democratic consolidation."
The EOM Core Team of seven EU election analysts arrived in Zambia on 29 June and will stay in the country until the completion of the elections, to prepare a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process. On 11 July the Core Team was joined by 24 long-term observers, and later, on 5 August by additional 56 short-term observers who will be deployed across the country. Also a delegation of the European Parliament and Zambia-based diplomats from EU Member States will reinforce the mission on election day. The EU EOM stands ready to cooperate with other international observation missions.
At the request of the Zambian authorities, the deployment of an EU EOM aims to contribute at enhancing the transparency of the process, the respect for fundamental freedoms and emphasises the importance of further follow up to EOM recommendations. The EU supports African efforts to reinforce the democratisation process across the continent. Since 2000, more than 70 election observation missions have been deployed by the EU in Africa.