LUSAKA, ZAMBIA — At the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Carter Center has launched a limited international election observation mission for Zambia’s Aug. 11 elections and national referendum on the Bill of Rights.
The mission is accredited by the Election Commission of Zambia to observe the presidential, legislative, and local elections, as well as the referendum, and is staffed by a four-person core team in Lusaka. An additional four medium-term observers have been deployed to assess electoral preparations and developments on the provincial level. They will be joined by additional observers on election day.
Her Excellency Sylvie Kinigi, former prime minister and acting president of Burundi, will lead the Carter Center’s mission. As Burundi’s first female prime minister (and the first woman to be acting president of an African nation), she directed the country’s first negotiations during the political crisis in 1994 and has been engaged in good governance and conflict resolution in her country and the region since that time.
“I am coming to Zambia to show that the world is watching the polls, and to give testimony of Africa’s hope for an additional victory of democracy in which all Zambians, men and women, can participate to the benefit of all,” Kinigi said.
Members of the mission will hold regular meetings with key stakeholders, including political party candidates, civil society organizations, citizen election observers, members of the international community, and representatives of the electoral commission. The Center’s electoral mission is limited in nature and will not offer a comprehensive assessment of the electoral process and election day proceedings. It will focus on the legal framework, election administration, general political environment, electoral violence, and resolution of any electoral disputes.
The Center will release public statements on key findings and recommendations, which will be available at www.cartercenter.org.
The election mission is conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, which provides guidelines for professional and impartial international election observation. The declaration was adopted at the United Nations in 2005 and endorsed by more than 40 election observation groups. The Center assesses the electoral process based on Zambia’s national legal framework and its obligations for democratic elections contained in regional and international agreements.