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APA-Lusaka (Zambia) The United States government has contributed one million US dollars towards voter education for the forthcoming presidential election.

The funds have been given to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to help it carry out a civic education campaign to entice registered voters to participate in 30 October poll.

There are fears that the election could attract apathy from most voters who may not see the need for them to vote for the late President Levy Mwanawasa’s successor. Mwanawasa died on 19 August in Paris, France, following a stroke he suffered in Egypt while attending the African Union summit.

The US embassy in Lusaka, however, said on Wednesday that voter participation was an important aspect of the election, hence the support from the American government towards the exercise of civic educating the masses to turn out in large numbers to cast their votes.

In addition, the embassy said the US government would provide other types of support to the ECZ to help it strengthen the electoral system.

Zambians will be voting for a new president from among four candidates to replace the late Mwanawasa.

Meanwhile, printing of ballot papers for the election is nearly completed, with four million papers already printed — leaving a balance of 500,000 ballots

The ballot papers are being printed in South Africa with observers from all political parties participating in the election as well as officials from the ECZ in attendance at the printing plant.

The ballot papers are expected to be flown to Zambia on a commercial South African airways flight later this week.
African Press Agency – Copyright upon prior authorization