THE European Union says Zambia has an opportunity to set a positive example in level playing field ahead of the August 12 general election.
EU lead spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Peter Stano says there should be a calm atmosphere for all participants.
Campaigns for the general election officially opened on Wednesday May 12.
“Zambia has the opportunity to set a positive example in ensuring a level playing field for candidates, guaranteeing respect for freedom of expression and freedom of assembly,” he said in a statement released from Brussels on Wednesday. “This includes ensuring a safe and calm atmosphere free from intimidation and violence, in which all citizens can participate fully in the democratic process as foreseen by the constitution. All stakeholders have their respective roles to play in achieving these conditions.”
Stano reiterated Zambia’s relations with the European Union, hence the need to enforce democratic tenets in the upcoming elections.
“As campaigning begins ahead of general elections on 12 August, the European Union reiterates the importance of its relationship with Zambia, which has been – since independence – a source of stability, humanitarian solidarity and regional leadership in southern Africa,” said Stano. “The European Union welcomes the invitation by the Government of the Republic of Zambia to deploy an electoral observation mission in Zambia. We encourage and support credible, inclusive, transparent and peaceful elections. In this spirit, the European Union recalls the common values it shares with Zambia – freedom, democracy, the Rule of Law and the promotion and protection of human rights.”