Tension precedes Zambia general elections
From ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
LUSAKA, (CAJ News) – THE African Union (AU) has deployed election observers in Zambia ahead of next Thursday’s general elections that are feared to spark violence.
Opposition and critics doubt the exercise will be credible and fair.
Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, confirmed the deployment.
Dlamini Zuma said the objective of the AUEOM is: to make an independent, objective and impartial assessment of the 2016 General Elections; to offer recommendations for improvement of future elections; and to demonstrate AU’s interest in African Union Election Observation Mission support for Zambia’s elections and democratization process.
Polls in the Southern African country are set for August 11.
Interparty violence between the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) of President Edgar Lungu and United Party for National Development (UPND), led by challenger Hakainde Hichilema, has led to campaigning in some parts of the country suspended.
Opposition members and the media have decried harassment by state security
Lungu has said he would resort to draconian means to ensure peace is retained after the presidential, parliamentary, local and referendum elections.
He alleged his party had intelligence that members of UPND) plan to cause havoc if the party was unable to win the polls.
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