August 2016

Pre-Election Statement of the Head of Delegation of the ICGLR Observation Mission by

    Dr Wilfred Gisuka Machage Senator of the House of parliament, Kenya

The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) is an inter-governmental organisation of 12 Member States including Zambia. It has among others a mandate to observe and monitor elections in Member States. This is in line with the Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region particularly the Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.

Since its inception in December 2006, the ICGLR has observed elections in its Member States. This will be the second time the ICGLR is observing election in Zambia. The mission noted that the previous election campaigns in Zambia have been relatively peaceful. The mission noted that this year campaign has been marked by unprecedented violence. It is our hope that this will not affect the events of the voting day. We also wish to congratulate the Electoral Commission of Zambia for making electoral arrangements. We urge all the parties to keep the momentum and spirit of peaceful, free and fair elections.

 In 2004, the Heads of State of the Great Lakes Region signed the Dar-es-Salaam Declaration on Peace, Security and Development and observed that lack of Democracy and Good governance was the main cause of instability in Region. They committed to promote democracy, good governance and human rights.  The ICGLR Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance gives binding obligations for countries to comply with. These are all contained in Chapter VI of the Protocol. The provisions in the Protocol, which are also in conformity with international provisions, will guide our observation during these elections.

The mission is composed of Observers from ICGLR Members States and the Forum of Parliaments of ICGLR, namely the Parliament of Kenya, the Parliament of Rwanda, the Parliament of Sudan, the Parliament of Uganda, the supporting staff from the Senate of Kenya and the Forum of Parliaments of ICGLR, and the ICGLR Secretariat. The mission will distribute itself in different parts of the country and work with other observers to be able to cover a bigger area that would give us a representative picture of the conduct of elections.

In addition the mission

  • Met with the Electoral Commission of Zambia and national authorities so as to establish the status of preparations and challenges in conformity with the electoral law and guidelines;
  • Met with other election stakeholders;
  • Collected and exchanged information on the preparation of the elections (including conformity with electoral text, drawing up of the electoral lists, etc.);

We shall thus be able to

  • Draw up recommendations for improvements of such processes in the Member States and advise the Secretariat of ICGLR on actions to be conducted in the future;
  • Observe the election and assess compliance with national and international standards including the ICGLR Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance;
  • Observe elections to establish if peaceful, free, fair and transparent as per ICGLR mandate and make recommendations.
  • Prepare a comprehensive report on the process to be shared with the authorities and the Regional Inter-Ministerial Committee of the ICGLR and the Summit as stipulated in the Protocol;

We would like to thank the people of Zambia for their usual warm hospitality and demonstration of peace-loving community.

We wish Zambia peaceful, free and fair elections.

10th August 2016

Lusaka, Zambia

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