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Commonwealth Calls For Peaceful Elections In Zambia
The Commonwealth Election Observer Group to Zambia has urged the people of the Southern Africa country to play their part in ensuring peaceful and credible elections on Thursday.
Kenneth Tsekoa, former Cabinet Minister of Lesotho and Vice Chair of the observer group, said this in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital.
He said the group’s role as independent observers is to scrutinise the entire election process, then take a view whether it has been conducted to the national, regional, Commonwealth and international standards.
The Commonwealth Observer Group is led by former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete.
Various observer groups have received series of briefings from political parties, civil society, women’s and youth groups, and the media to enable them to get a sense of the mood in the country ahead of the elections.
They will make detailed observations to assess the pre-election period as well as visit polling stations on Election Day and during the post-election environment.
Since 1980, the Commonwealth has observed more than 130 elections in 36 countries.
This is the sixth General Elections to be held in Zambia since the introduction of multi-party democracy in 1991.
Zambians will be voting for the President, 156-member National Assembly and over 1,600 local government councils.
Also, for the first time, Zambians will also directly elect Mayors or Council Chairs and vote on a referendum on the Bill of Rights, making a total of five ballots per voter.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan is also leading the African Union, AU, election observer group in Zambia.
He arrived Lusaka on August 6 and has been engaging stakeholders in the country on the need for a peaceful, free and fair electoral process.