Polls peaceful, well -administered, says EU

THE European Union (EU) election observers have said they expect all the political parties and electoral stakeholders to act in order to preserve peace, stability and tolerance in Zambia while using existing legal channels to address possible complaints.

According to a statement from the EU on the general elections and referendum on the Bill of Rights in Zambia, the observers’ preliminary assessment found that voting was peaceful and generally well administered.

“The European Union congratulates President-elect Edgar Chagwa Lungu and looks forward to deepening its partnership with the Republic of Zambia. The people of Zambia participated in large numbers in the general elections on 11 August 2016.

“The EU expects all the political parties and electoral stakeholders to act in order to preserve peace, stability and tolerance in the country. Existing legal channels should be used to address possible complaints,” read the statement.

The EU also said its observation mission would remain in the country until completion of the electoral process and that it would issue a final report with recommendations within two months.

The mission, however, mentioned that it found the elections marred by systematic bias in the State media and restrictions on the campaign.

Recently, the African and International election observers also appealed to stakeholders to refrain from making any utterances or performing acts that could trigger tension and negatively affect the electoral environment.

In a joint statement availed by COMESA, the observers urged all political parties and candidates to continue to promote a climate of peace, tolerance, and national unity throughout the electoral process.

They also urged political leaders to encourage their supporters to refrain from political violence within the framework of the peace pledge and the electoral code of conduct.

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