Editor's Comment

Back credible elections

ZAMBIA has an impeccable record of holding free, fair and credible elections.
This has also seen peaceful transitions of government because political parties which have lost elections submitted to the will of the people as demonstrated in the ballot box.
Besides holding free, fair and credible elections, all political players are offered an opportunity to campaign in efforts to win votes that could get them into office at the various levels of leadership.
Simply, the political playing field is level, with an impartial referee in the Electoral Commission of Zambia and poll monitors as influential spectators.
That is why Zambia is a beacon of peace. The political climate is stable. This is as it should be because democracy is here to stay.
Of course in any competition there are bound to be those who will cry foul. Zambia’s elections are no exception, but Zambia’s democracy provides a platform for such competitors. They have recourse to the courts of law.
With Zambia bracing for another round of general elections in 2021, excitement has heightened. Political players are getting into intensified campaign modes and some may wonder if they will be given equal chance to seek votes.
There is no need to wonder or worry. Like before, the election fever will not diffuse the democratic rights of any citizen. This assurance was underscored yesterday by President Edgar Lungu, who said that the 2021 presidential and general elections will be free, fair and credible.
There is no reason to doubt this affirmation considering that the most recent elections met the expectations of the ECZ and both local and international observers.
President Lungu, on the occasion of the annual greeting of the diplomatic corps at State House yesterday, reiterated his administration’s desire to deliver free, fair and credible elections like it did in 2015 and 2016.
The assurance is an invitation to the international community to trust the PF government of continuing with the country’s legacy of holding credible elections.
It is also an invitation to the international community that this government leaves the door open for them to come, again, and observe the management and holding of free and fair elections.
This also reminds the various stakeholders, local and international, that this is a government that will respect the people’s right to vote, as it continues to strengthen the country’s democracy.
It also dissipates unfounded fears that some local political participants are expressing that the Government is preparing to rig elections.
Not only that, the international community is ready to aid countries with material and technical support programmes such as elections when governments in these countries show commitment to holding credible democratic processes, especially elections.
With this assurance, the international community should utilise the open door to engage Government to ensure the 2021 elections are delivered to the expectations of all participating political parties, candidates and observers.
After all, the outcome of elections reflects the will of the people, whose choice is guaranteed by both local and international observers.
It is important that Zambia continues having free, fair and credible elections because, regardless of who wins any of the available seats, the country collectively wins.
The collective victory sets a perfect stage for development which benefits all citizens.
It is important, therefore, that citizens play their part in backing President Lungu’s renewed quest for credible elections.


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