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Zambia requests EU to implement ‘strengthening democracy initiative’ ahead 2026 elections (Video)


Zambia has requested the European Union (EU) to consider implementing the strengthening democracy initiative in 2025 for second time as the country prepares for the 2026 general elections.

Justice Minister, Mulambo Haimbe, said the project which came to an end in 2021 contributed greatly to the smooth electoral processes which saw the election of President Hakainde Hichilema into office.

Haimbe made the request when EU Ambassador to Zambia and COMESA, Karolina Stasiak, handed over the 2021 elections report to him in Lusaka on Wednesday.

“We are live to the fact that the strengthening democracy in Zambia played a very crucial role in the run up to the 2021 general elections and we want a similar process in the run up to the 2026 general elections,” the minister said.

Haimbe who is also acting Foriegn Affairs and International Cooperation Minister, stated that government had projected mid 2025 to close up areas that had been identified in the electoral and legal reforms.

He said government had given itself mid 2025 as the timeframe of significant steps in the electoral reforms and that some of the steps had been achieved already, like the passing of the Access to Information law.

“The others we have discussed include some of the low hanging fruits like the amendment to the electoral Act and amendment to the Constitution which we consider at the Executive as non contentious to foster democracy,” Haimbe stated.

The minister pledged that government would continue to work with various stakeholders, like the EU, to further improving the democratic space in the country.

Earlier, Stasiak said the report handed over to the minister was an independent expert report and not necessarily the views of the EU in Zambia.

Read More: Opposition alliance alleges govt seeking constitutional amendments to prolong Hichilema’s term

“It is an assessment done at expert level comparing to international standards on electoral process and reforms and they have formulated this report also comparing to the recommendations made by the missions in 2021,” she stated.

Stasiak highlighted that the report noted improvements which had been made in the electoral reforms such as the implementation of the Access to Information law and the removal of the Defamation of the President from the Penal Code.

She said the EU acknowledges the achievements which had so far been made, and efforts in other fields of the electoral process.

“Zambia is a very good example, an important example within the region to demonstrate that democracy can go hand in hand with sustainable development,” Stasiak stated.

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