Zambians praised for peaceful elections

23 Sep 2011

Lusaka, 23 September 2011 - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon today commended the Zambian people following recent elections, saying he was “pleased that Zambians had shown Africa and the world that change can be brought about peacefully when democracy is allowed to flourish.”

In a statement following the 20 September polls, he also had praise for the country’s electoral commission for its role in “managing a credible and transparent process,” in which almost three million people cast their vote to elect a president and representatives to the National Assembly.

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) managed nearly US$23 million in pooled donor funds to support the Electoral Commission in its work, including conducting voter education, training journalists on ethical reporting for elections, training police in electoral monitoring and promoting inter-party dialogue.

Through the fund, biometric technology for voter registration was used for the first time in Zambia. Over 50,000 electoral officers and 1,442 voter education facilitators were trained and deployed across the country.

As a result, about 5.2 million voters registered to take part in the polls, including nearly 1.3 million new voters. A youth empowerment programme encouraged young people to register and turnout to vote, which contributed to the increased showing of youths at the polls.

The Electoral Commission and the Zambia Police Service together also set up an incident management centre to monitor and respond to potential incidents of violence.

The Electoral Support Fund received money from Canada, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, the European Union, Finland, the Netherlands, and the United States Agency for International Development.