Sommaire: EU Presidency Declaration on elections in Zambia (6 October 2006: Brussels)
The European Union welcomes the holding of the democratic tripartite elections in Zambia on 28 September 2006, and the strong commitment of the people of Zambia to democratic development demonstrated by the high turnout of voters. The European Union congratulates the President, Mr. Levy Mwanawasa on his victory and his second mandate as the President of the Republic of Zambia, and congratulates the Members of Parliament, and local Councillors elected. The European Union calls upon all
candidates and political parties to respect the outcome of the democratic process.
The European Union is pleased to note that the elections have been considered by international observers, in particular the European Union Election Observation Mission in its preliminary assessment, as generally peaceful and well managed. Voting took place in a largely calm and orderly environment, and the processing of results was transparent. The independence and professionalism of the Electoral Commission have created confidence in the process. The European Union notes the important and positive role that the civil society organisations have played before and during the elections. The European Union considers the elections represent another positive example for the region and the continent, of participatory democracy in action: an area to which both the AU and the EU attach the highest importance.
While there has been marked improvement in the conduct of elections, challenges remain. There is still some need for improvement and reform of the legal framework, as well as a need to ensure a level playing field. The number of women standing as candidates has also remained extremely low.
The European Union reiterates its determination to continue to support the Republic of Zambia in its efforts to strengthen democratic processes, to foster good governance, to fight against corruption, and to alleviate poverty.
The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.