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In 2021, the United States seeks to promote free and fair elections that take place without violence and reflect the will of the people from Zambia. The capacity of individuals in Zambia exercise the freedoms of expression, including for members of the media, and of peaceful assembly during the campaign and election season is the foundation of a strong democracy. Minimizing violence and intimidation is essential to achieving Zambia’s status as a peaceful nation. Zambia has a 30-year legacy of democratic elections with two peaceful transfers of power, and it has served as a model of political stability in Africa. The U.S. government’s commitment to democracy in Zambia includes:
- Diplomatic engagement: The United States maintains strong and regular diplomatic engagement with ruling party officials, opposition party leaders, civil society, electoral officials, and the private sector to communicate the importance of the shared democratic values of our people. countries and encourage free and fair elections. A central message of our diplomatic engagement emphasizes the central importance of respecting democratic electoral principles. The United States supports Zambian democracy as a neutral partner and calls for restraint and non-violence.
- Public awareness: U.S. public engagement efforts emphasize mutual interests and stress that restrictions on fundamental freedoms and access to information can undermine the spirit of the democratic process, lead to violence, and undermine confidence in election results. Public statements and social media content with partners communicate these values. U.S. Embassy programs also support media professionalization programs that build journalism and reporting skills, seek to ensure equal access to airtime for all parties and candidates, and maximize access. from the public to information. In addition, U.S. Embassy officials engage via radio, television, print and social media on the importance of freedoms of peaceful assembly and expression, including for members of the United States. media. American advocacy for peaceful and responsible citizen participation reaches a wide audience across Zambia, including historically disenfranchised groups such as women, youth and people with disabilities.
- Technical assistance: The United States government, primarily through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), supports the Zambian electoral process through programs that focus on the following key issues:
- Increased credibility and fairness of political processes: Local civil society organizations identify and prioritize the electoral framework and policy reform in order to develop and implement advocacy strategies to strengthen the electoral system and increase the representation of disadvantaged populations. S. Support also enables citizens to undertake nationwide monitoring and observation of key electoral processes, including voter registration, campaign management, and voting on Election Day. This helps to prevent, detect, document and expose possible electoral malfeasance, fraud, manipulation, intimidation and violence, as well as illegal interference in the electoral process. U.S. support for the Commission on Human Rights also improves the identification, investigation and follow-up of electoral allegations of human rights violations and abuses.
- Capacity building of electoral systems: S. Programming through the United Nations Development Program strengthens the capacity of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to respond to findings from national observers and civil society, provides technical assistance to ECZ and the Ministry of Justice for election-related legal drafting, and strengthens election administration, stakeholder management, voter education, and ECZ dispute resolution capacities. To address growing partisan violence and threats to freedom of expression and participation, this programming area is also improving the skills of election officials in conflict management and crisis response through a training program in nationwide and opportunities for election officials to share these best practices.