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EU observer mission lauds Zambian polls, criticises state media of bias

EU observer mission lauds Zambian polls, criticises state media of bias


The EU observer mission in Zambia has presented its report on the country’s presidential election held last Thursday.

The report noted that the elections were devoid of any major disturbances.

The 120-member election observer mission seemed content with voter turnout estimated at about 57 percent.

The mission’s chief observer,Cecile Kashetu Kyenge, commended the Electoral Commission for its efforts in organising the poll, but said it could have done better.

“The electoral commission also made efforts to increase transparency in the electoral administration, however it did miss some opportunities to further enhance the transparency of the process, as it did not allow international nor domestic observers to access a number of important activities.”

The international election observers however criticised the state media of not being neutral.

The State media was said to have demonstrated systematic bias and it failed to provide fair and equitable coverage of the campaigns.

Some excesses on the part of political parties during the electoral campaign were also revealed.

“During the campaign, we have seen statements from both the Patriotic Front (PF) and the United Party for National Development (UPND) that inflamed tensions, harming confidence in the elections and creating a climate of fear in parts of the country,” said the EU mission’s chief observer.

Provisional results from last Thursday’s poll have put president Edgar Lungu slightly in the lead with some 262, 149 votes against 243,799 votes for the opposition candidate Hakainde Hichilema.

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