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Former President Kikwete issued the Interim Statement of the Commonwealth Observer Group for Zambian Elections

Chair of the Commonwealth  Observer Group for the Zambian Elections and Former President of Tanzania His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete   d...

Chair of the Commonwealth  Observer Group for the Zambian Elections and Former President of Tanzania His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete   delivered the Interim Statement in Lusaka, Zambia.
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ZAMBIA GENERAL ELECTIONS 2016: OBSERVER GROUP INTERIM STATEMENT
13 AUGUST 2016

Statement by: HE Dr Jakaya Kikwete, Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group to Zambia

The Commonwealth Observer Group commends the people of the Republic of Zambia for the peaceful and orderly manner in which they exercised their right to vote on 11 August 2016.

The Group has been present in Zambia since 4 August. Our arrival was preceded by an advance team which has been in the country since 22 July.

We have met with the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), political parties, civil society, including women and youth groups, media representatives, the Police, Commonwealth High Commissioners and other election observer missions.

On 9 August, our teams were deployed throughout the ten provinces ofZambia to observe the election environment and preparations. Ahead of Election Day, our teams met electoral officials, political parties and the police at the district level to gain a comprehensive picture of the electoral processes and environment. Commonwealth teams also observed the final campaign events around the country.

The following is an initial assessment of the critical aspects of the election process and the electoral environment. Our final report, which we will complete before our departure, will be issued at a later date.

Key findings
Pre-election environment and issues
The campaign
In our briefings with a number of stakeholders, we were informed that there had been a significant increase in the frequency of politically-motivated violence in the pre-electoral environment.
We note, for instance, that the ECZ suspended campaigning in Lusaka and Namwala districts from 9 to 18 July following two separate fatal incidents.
We were further concerned about complaints that the Public Order Act was being applied in such a manner that it prevented some parties from campaigning, earlier in the process.  In meetings with representatives of the Police Service, the Group was advised that the Police only cancelled public meetings in instances where they had received intelligence of a security threat, or where they did not have sufficient resources to provide security at the public event.
We were therefore particularly pleased to note that the campaigns conducted on the eve of elections, were lively andgenerally peaceful.


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Commonwealth Observer Group issues its interim findings of the Zambia 2016 General Election and Referendum in Lusaka, as counting in the country continues.
The Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group, HE Dr Jakaya Kikwete, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania says that the voting, closing and counting process following the Zambian General Elections and Referendum has been credible and transparent. However, the Group will reserve full judgement of the overall process until it publishes its final report in the coming months. 

‘I commend the people of the Republic of Zambia for the peaceful and orderly manner in which they exercised their right to vote’, he said to a packed press conference in Lusaka.
‘On Election Day, our Observers reported that most voting stations opened on time with few exceptions. They were struck by the long queues in some polling stations but found that voting generally took place in an atmosphere of calm.’

Seventeen Commonwealth Observers were deployed to all ten provinces of Zambia. They fed back their observations over the pre-election period and Election Day. After the elections they remained in their areas to assess the post-election atmosphere.

Over six and half million people are eligible to vote in Zambia and turn out is expected to be high. Women are active participators in the election process and Observers were pleased to see an equal number of men and women voters taking part not just as voters, but also as polling officers and other staff involved in the election process. 

‘We urge all political parties and candidates to respect the will of the people of Zambia’, the Chair reiterated. ‘This is the Zambian Constitutional way. It is also the Commonwealth way.’
The Commonwealth Observer Group, composed of seventeen persons drawn from across the Commonwealth, was appointed by Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland QC. Their mandate is to observe the preparations for the election, the polling, counting and the results processes, and the overall electoral environment.
The observers are tasked with assessing whether the elections were conducted according to the standards to which Zambia has committed, including domestic law and relevant regional, Commonwealth and other international standards. The observers are bound by the International Declaration of Principles for Election Observation, to which the Commonwealth is a signatory.
The Commonwealth Observer Group arrived in Uganda on 4 August and was deployed to all ten provinces of Zambia. The final report will be submitted to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will in turn send it to the Government of the Republic of Zambia, Electoral Commission of Zambia, political

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9 Habari hii na Leila Abdul Hotuba ya Rais Jakaya Kikwete Bungeni leo mjini Dodoma.Na Msimbe Lukwangule Mahafali Picha na Mdau Abdallah Mrisho Salawi tangazo Uchambuzi huu kwa Msaada wa Dr Faustine Update kutoka Dodoma na Msimbe Lukwangule zilipendwa
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H@ki Ngowi: Former President Kikwete issued the Interim Statement of the Commonwealth Observer Group for Zambian Elections
Former President Kikwete issued the Interim Statement of the Commonwealth Observer Group for Zambian Elections
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