ZAMBIA’S presidential candidates who will lose this month’s election should concede defeat if they lose in a fair way, says Southern African Development Community (SADC) head of electoral observation mission to Zambia Maite Mashabane.
Ms Mashabane said SADC expected all political parties participating in this election to behave in the manner that would promote peaceful and democratic elections.
She said what would be unfair was to refuse to concede when it was clear that they had been defeated.
Ms Mashabane, who is South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, said if the losers were aggrieved after the election, they should seek redress through established channels.
She also said there was nothing wrong for presidential candidates to claim that they would win the election as it was a sign of confidence shown to their supporters.
“To say they will win the election there is nothing wrong. They are simply giving their supporters confidence.
And to be confident is good,” Ms Mashabane said.
And Ms Mashabane said for the country to achieve peaceful, free and fair election, it was the responsibility of all Zambians to uphold the tenets of democracy.
She said Zambia had over the years conducted peaceful elections which had earned the country the reputation as beacon of hope in democratic practice and culture.
Ms Mashabane said SADC electoral observation missions have made a meaningful contribution to the consolidation of democracy in the region through sharing lessons and best practices.
She said the election should be an indication of true citizenry participation in the political process when they elect a leader of their choice.
And SADC executive secretary Stergomena Tax said SADC electoral advisory council (SEAC) political goodwill and pre-deployment assessment mission revealed that political atmosphere and security environment were conducive for holding elections.
She said the electoral management bodies had undertaken the necessary provisions and preparations for holding the 2015 election.
“It is worth noting that for a peaceful, free, fair and credible electoral process, the adherence to democratic values and principles as well as the guiding legislation by all relevant stakeholders involved in the electoral process and society in general is fundamental,” she said.