Observer mission: Jonathan urges Zambian parties to accept results, refrain from violence
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has urged political parties taking
part in the August 11 general elections in Zambia to refrain from
violence and accept the outcome of the polls.
The former President who stated this yesterday at his press conference
in Lusaka as Head of the African Union Election Observation Mission to
Zambia also appealed to political party leaders to endeavour to place
the country's interest over political ambitions.
Advising those that might lose the elections to be magnanimous and
accept the results as the will of the people of Zambia, Jonathan
'Politicians going in for elective positions should be open-minded
about the outcome because they can either win or lose. Politicians who
want to play meaningful roles in governance should realise that it is
not about them. Those who care only about themselves should quit
politics and begin to manage personal businesses.
'Our states are not private enterprises. You cannot be interested in
governance without sufficient interest in the affairs of the people.
So the interest of the country should come first as politicians tick
their priority boxes.
'This also requires politicians to accept the outcome of genuine
elections because of the interest of the people. You cannot instigate
violence and mayhem on the one hand and pretend that you are fighting
for the people on the other. It does not make any sense to get
involved in bloodshed, destroy properties, frustrate businesses and
collapse the economy in order to win elections. Our advice is to put
public interest above other expectations by accepting the results of
The former President also noted that Zambia has had relatively smooth
power transitions since gaining Independence from Britain in 1964,
adding that the pre-election environment was conducive for a free and
'I believe that Zambia has served as the leading light and shown good
examples over the issue of elections. I am convinced that the people
of this country will maintain this exemplary peace during next
Thursday's general elections.'
Organisations such as the European Union, African Union and regional
bodies have also deployed their contingents to monitor the election.
Although there are many parties that registered candidates for the
polls, Zambia’s 2016 election is widely seen as a two horse-race.
Governing party Patriotic Front candidate Edgar Lungu who won last
year’s election was campaigning on a promise of stability and
His main challenger of the United Party for National Development,
Hakainde Hichilema promises to fix a “broken” economy.
Electoral violence heightened during campaigns in which about 6.6
million Zambians were expected to cast the vote.