Saturday, 17 January 2015

Ex-Mauritius President Uteem Leads EISA Poll Observers To Zambia

By Paul Shalala
Former Mauritius President Cassam Uteem

The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) has deployed a 14 member  election observation mission to monitor Zambia's presidential election scheduled for 20 January 2015.

Former Mauritius President Cassam Uteem will lead the mission which is the forth the pan-African organisation has deployed in Zambia since 2006.

"EISA notes that the by-elections take place in line with the provisions of article 38 of the Zambian Constitution, which grants Zambians the rights to choose another president after the sudden death of President Michael Sata on 28 October 2014. The Institute views the by-election as another crucial step in the democratic consolidation process in Zambia," reads a statement from EISA.

The mission is composed of 14 short term observers drawn from civil society organisations and electoral commissions across the African continent.

The EISA observers will be deployed to five of Zambia’s ten provinces to consult with electoral stakeholders and observe the final phases of the pre-election period.

According to a statement from EISA, the observers will be equipped with computer tablets for the collection and transmission of their findings in real time.

The Mission’s activities will be guided by principles and standards set out in the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance; the African Union Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa; the Declaration of Principles on International Election Observation and the Principles for Election Management, Monitoring and Observation (PEMMO) as well as the Zambian legal framework governing the elections.

EISA becomes the third international organisation to deploy election monitors in Zambia after SADC and COMESA deployed their respective election teams earlier this week.

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