ZAMBIA is going to have yet another democratic and peaceful elections this year in her convention of upholding the principles of democracy and good governance, President Edgar Lungu has assured the international community.
President Lungu has called on the international community to continue rendering support to Zambia’s democratic development as the country goes for the general elections in August.
The President has appealed to the international community to consider supporting Government and Zambians in general during the tripartite elections to be held on 11th August.
Addressing ambassadors and high commissioners accredited to Zambia during the annual greetings in honour of the members of the diplomatic corps at State House yesterday, President Lungu said Government recognized that the international community was an important and valuable partner to Zambia’s economic and political development.
The Head of State said Government was pleased that the interactions between Zambia and the international community and organizations under the auspices of the United Nations, the Commonwealth, SADC, COMESA and other international organizations as well as cooperation under the Joint Permanent Commissions (JPCs) had translated into various forms of collaboration.
The President said the year 2015 was a remarkable one for him and his Government having been elected as the sixth President in the presidential election in January last year.
The President said the renewed mandate given to the Patriotic Front (PF) was premised in many ways on the desire by Zambians to see a continuation of the country’s political and economic agenda.
He said Zambians demanded that the constitution-making process which had been going on for a long time be concluded and was delighted that the process had finally culminated into an amended Constitution to which he had assented to.
“I wish to assure you that Zambia remains committed to upholding the principles of democracy and good governance. As strategic stakeholders in Zambia’s political affairs, I wish to call upon your respective governments, through your Excellencies, to continue rendering support towards our country’s democratic development.
“ We also request you once again to provide your usual support to the Government and the people of Zambia during the August 11, 2016 tripartite elections. With the peace-loving nature of the Zambian people, I can confidently say that we are looking forward to yet another democratic and peaceful electoral process,” President Lungu said.
President Lungu said Zambia was not spared from the effects of the global economic slowdown which he said manifested itself in the decline of copper prices which had resulted into decreased production and the adverse effects on the Zambian Kwacha.
The Head of State said he was pleased to note that Zambia’s currency had since regained stability in response to the timely interventions which he said was an assurance that the country’s economic fundamentals remained steady.
“The country also continued to experience the El-Nino effects as the changed weather pattern brought about inconsistent rainfall, thereby causing acute energy crisis. While the challenge remains with us, Government has made specific interventions in the economy to alleviate the impact,” President Lungu said.
President Lungu said he was determined to ensure the implementation of Government programmes to end poverty, gender inequality and child nutrition as well as improve the education and health sectors.
He said he was determined to end early child marriages; a topic he said was of great concern to his heart.
The President also expressed concern on the security situation in various parts of the world including the Middle East and Africa, stating that the spillover effect of the conflicts was the increase in the number of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons.
“This is a matter of grave concern and has increasingly become a very contentious subject. I have concerns about the security situation in the Great Lakes Region arising from disputes over the tenure of office of President.”