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Nigeria's ex-president to lead AU's Zambia election observer mission

Nigeria's ex-president to lead AU's Zambia election observer mission

Zambia

The African Union (AU) has appointed Nigeria’s former president Goodluck Jonathan to lead its team of short term Election Observer Mission (EOM) to Zambia ahead of upcoming polls.

This was contained in a statement released by the African Union Commission (AUC). The AU noted that Jonathan’s team would join an advance team that has been in Zambia since July 4.

The long term EOM comprising of election, legal, political, campaign and media analysts would be expected to round off their tasks on August 22.

‘‘The objective is to ensure that the AU-EOM approaches its work with added professionalism and factual analysis of all aspects of the electoral process in Zambia.

At the second phase of the mission, the long-term experts will be joined by short-term observers from August 1-15, 2016. The short-term mission will be headed by Goodluck Jonathan, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the AUC statement noted.

President Edgar Lungu heads into the polls with nine other contenders. The contest is however seen as a two-horse race between the incumbent and the main opposition’s Hakainde Hichilema who came in second in the last elections.

The country’s electoral commission banned campaigning ahead of the elections due to growing cases of violence between supporters of the ruling Patriotic Front and the main opposition United Party for National Development.

President Edgar Lungu has been in power for a year and is seeking to rule the Zambia for the next five years. The 59-year-old leader came into power after winning a ballot triggered by the death of his predecessor, Michael Sata, in October 2014.