Speaker of the National Assembly Rt. Honourable Mr Justice Dr Patrick Matibini, SC., BA, FCIArb, MP has commended the European Union (EU) for their objective and invaluable role in Zambia’s electoral process and reform. He said this when the Exploratory Mission (ExM) to Zambia paid a courtesy on him at Parliament Buildings in Lusaka, on Monday, 22 March, 2021.

In delivering his welcome remarks, Speaker Matibini noted that elections in most parts of the world, including older democracies, are controversial, topical and sensitive especially in the area of contest and transfer of power. He therefore, commended the European Union for being an instrumental partner in the electoral process.

He further informed the delegation that the Electoral Commission of Zambia is a creature of Parliament and therefore, the National Assembly, through its legislative, budgetary and oversight functions interfaces with the electoral body.

During the same occasion, the Ambassador of the European Union to Zambia His Excellency Mr Jacek Jankowski informed Speaker Matibini that the Exploratory Mission (ExM) team is in the country on a two weeks fact finding mission to assess the possibility of deploying an EU Election Observer Mission (EUEOM) for the upcoming Presidential and Parliamentary Elections. He said, the EU has been observing elections in Zambia as a partner in fostering quality elections that are free, fair, transparent and offer a level playing field.

The Exploratory Mission team informed Dr Matibini that they are expected to make recommendations to the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on whether or not to deploy an Election Observer Mission. The team added that, the COVID-19 pandemic would also be taken into consideration when making the recommendations.