Observing and monitoring an election is important in order to improve its quality, build public confidence and protect the rights of the people who participate in it by way of voting. The process also helps to diffuse tensions that arise as a result of the high levels of suspicion and malpractices that most elections are prone to.
The Zambia Elections Information Centre (ZEIC) seeks to enhance the credibility and transparency of the Zambian elections by critically observing and monitoring the manner in which they will be conducted. We believe that democratic processes should inspire trust from voters and all relevant key stakeholders so that the government that emerges as the winner has full legitimacy from the people.
Successful elections are crucial for political legitimacy and are a prerequisite for the political stability and socio-economic development of any country. Hence, ZEIC has established a platform where all key stakeholders that extensively work on elections in Zambia can collaborate to work collectively, efficiently and effectively while adequately provided with sufficient capacity building in order to improve the quality of elections in Zambia this year.
To ensure that the conduct of elections in Zambia is based on existing laws and set standards, ZEIC, working through its key partners will deploy over 9000 observers and monitors. An election observer is a person who gathers information and makes informed judgement on the collected data, while an election monitor is a person who observes and intervenes if at all violations are committed during elections.
ZEIC will thus deploy observers and monitors to all known Constituencies in the country and their job will specifically be to gather information and make informed judgement on the manner in which the elections are administered in their area of deployment, without necessarily interfering with the process. The observers and monitors will then be tasked to report all incidences surrounding the electoral process in their designated area or polling station to the ZEIC Election Situation Room through secure mobile technology, to facilitate for necessary measures and interventions aimed at addressing all arising electoral incidences.
Our observation and monitoring mechanism extends but not limited to pre-electoral period, electoral period and post electoral period. The following are some key areas of consideration for ZEIC as we track the management and conduct of elections in Zambia.