INTERIM MISSION STATEMENT BY THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM ELECTION OBSERVATION MISSION TO THE 11 AUGUST 2016 ZAMBIA GENERAL ELECTIONS AND REFERENDUM

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INTERIM MISSION STATEMENT BY THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM ELECTION OBSERVATION MISSION TO THE 11 AUGUST 2016 ZAMBIA GENERAL ELECTIONS AND REFERENDUM
MISSION FINDINGS
The Role of Security Forces
Media Coverage of the Elections
OOD PRACTICES
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT
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DELIVERED BY HONOURABLE TASKA R. MBOGO, MISSION LEADER AND MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA ON 13 AUGUST 2016 AT INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL IN LUSAKA, ZAMBIA

SALUTATIONS

  • Your Excellency Oldemiro Baloi, Head of the SADC Election Observer Mission and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Mozambique;
  • Esteemed Heads of the African Union; Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC Countries (ECF-SADC); Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); Commonwealth; Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA); Carter Center; International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and other International Election Observation Missions;
  • Chairperson and Commissioners of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ);
  • Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
  • Esteemed Leaders of Political Parties;
  • Representatives of Local Observers and Monitors;
  • Media Representatives;
  • Distinguished Guests;
  • Ladies and Gentlemen

I am honoured to present the SADC Parliamentary Forum Election Observation Mission Interim Statement on the 2016 Zambia General Elections and Referendum in my capacity as the Mission Leader.

1. INTRODUCTION

Following an invitation by the Government of the Republic of Zambia, the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF), [1] constituted an Election Observation Mission to observe the Zambia General Elections and Referendum, which were held on 11 August 2016. SADC PF constituted a 25-Member Mission, which has been in Zambia since 5 August to date. The Mission is composed of Members of Parliament and staff from SADC Parliaments as well as officials from SADC PF Secretariat.

This Election Observation Mission marks the fifth time that SADC PF has observed elections in Zambia and is the 40th Observation Mission to be deployed since 1999 when the SADC PF started observing elections in SADC Member States.

The purpose of this Interim Statement is to share with the Electoral Commission of Zambia and other stakeholders, the Mission's Findings and Recommendations, which are aimed at strengthening and improving the credibility, professionalism and integrity of electoral processes in Zambia and the entire SADC Region. Kindly note that a more detailed Final Report shall be compiled and published within 90 days from the date of this Interim Statement, and shall be formally presented to the Electoral Commission of Zambia. Stakeholders will also have an opportunity to consider the Main Report at an All Stakeholders Workshop, which SADC PF will jointly organise with ECZ.

icon INTERIM MISSION STATEMENT BY THE SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM ELECTION OBSERVATION MISSION TO THE 11 AUG

2. TERMS OF REFERENCE

The Mission's observation work was guided by its Terms of Reference that are premised on SADC PF's two election instruments, namely the Norms and Standards for Elections in the SADC Region and the Benchmarks for Assessing Democratic Elections in Southern Africa. Additionally, the Mission was guided by the revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, among other regional and international election instruments.

3. DEPLOYMENT PLAN

The Mission's teams were deployed in three Provinces of Lusaka, Copperbelt and Southern Province.

4. OBSERVATION METHODOLOGY

The Mission Teams used an assortment of information gathering methods, which included review of the constitutional and legal framework governing elections and referenda in Zambia, consultations with key electoral stakeholders such as the ECZ, political parties and candidates, Civil Society Organisations, media and the general electorate. The Mission also observed political campaign rallies, witnessed door-to-door campaigns by political parties and candidates and monitored the mass and social media.

Furthermore, the Mission interacted with other Election Observation Missions including the SADC Election Observer Mission, the AU, COMESA, ECF-SADC, Carter Centre, EISA, the EU and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, in order to exchange information and observations.

5. GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR THE SADC PF MISSION

In carrying out its observation work, the Mission was guided by the principles of impartiality, neutrality, comprehensiveness, transparency, inclusiveness and objectivity.



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