The European Union has declared that Zambia’s presidential polls last month were free and fair despite claims by the opposition of vote rigging.
In a statement today, the EU said despite short notice following the death of president Levy Mwanawasa in August, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) held credible elections.
The EU said “it welcomes the peaceful conduct of balloting and the work of the ECZ, which succeeded in organising a major ballot with increased professionalism and concern for transparency.”
Zambian President Rupiah Banda beat his closest opposition rival, Michael Sata, by a slim margin in the October 30 election, which the opposition claims was rigged in favour of Banda.
“It is regrettable that the time available did not permit the electoral rolls to be brought up-to-date,” the statement added.
Sata had complained that the voter roll was not updated since the last election in 2006, but a court ruled that the old list could be used because authorities needed to hold the vote soon after Mwanawasa’s death.