In response to an invitation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Zambia, the European Union (EU) has decided to deploy an EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) to the general elections scheduled for 12 August 2021.
Mr. Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission (HR/VP), has appointed Ms. Maria Arena, Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer for this mission. The EU already deployed Election Observation Missions to Zambia in 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016, as well as an Election Follow-up Mission in 2019.
High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell said: “The European Union highly values its comprehensive partnership with Zambia and appreciates the invitation by the Zambian authorities to deploy an EU Election Observation Mission to the forthcoming elections. This will be the fifth electoral mission that the EU deploys in the country since 2001: it illustrates our long-term commitment to encourage and support the conduct of peaceful, credible, inclusive and transparent elections in Zambia. Under the leadership of the Chief Observer Ms. Maria Arena, an experienced Chief Observer, the EU EOM will once again undertake an independent, expert and thorough assessment of the electoral process whose success is important to consolidate democracy in Zambia.”
The Chief Observer Ms. Maria Arena said: “I am very pleased to have been entrusted with the responsibility of leading this EU EOM, the fifth such mission in Zambia and a milestone in the long partnership between the European Union and Zambia on democratic development. I look forward to working with state authorities, political parties, candidates and other stakeholders, with the goal of promoting a peaceful, inclusive, credible and transparent process.”
The Core Team of the EU EOM consists of 11 election experts and will arrive in Lusaka at the end of June. During the second week of July, a total of 32 Long-Term Observers will join the mission and will be deployed across the country. Around 30 locally-recruited Short-Term Observers will reinforce the mission during the election day. The EU EOM will remain in the country until the completion of the electoral process.
Following the EU election observation methodology, the mission will issue a preliminary statement and hold a press conference in Lusaka after the elections. The final report, which will include a set of recommendations for future electoral processes, will be presented and shared with stakeholders after the finalisation of the entire electoral process.