AU calls for peaceful polls

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

ADDIS ABABA. — Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, yesterday called for smooth, peaceful, transparent and credible polls in six AU member states holding elections and a referendum.

“While Elections Management Bodies should ensure smooth organisation, with highest levels of professionalism and service delivery, citizens and political actors must respect the results of the polls,” the chairperson said in a statement earlier yesterday.

“Should there be grievances following the election results, these must be addressed through the appropriate channels in an orderly and lawful manner to maintain peace and stability,” she said, adding that only through violence-free elections that Africa can deepen the culture of democracy.

Yesterday, elections were expected in five countries and regions — Benin, Niger, Cape Verde, Congo and the semi-autonomous region of Tanzania’s Zanzibar, and a referendum in Senegal, according to the statement.

The constitutional referendum in Senegal would allow the citizens to determine whether to maintain the current seven-year presidential term mandate or reduce it to five years, it noted.

The Republic of Congo will hold first round of presidential elections, with nine candidates, including incumbent President Denis Sassou Nguesso. And the Republic of Cape Verde will be holding Legislative Elections to fill up 72 seats in the National Assembly.

Both Benin and Niger in West Africa will be holding second rounds of presidential elections, of which the results will determine who will lead these countries for at least the next five years.

Meanwhile, voters in Zanzibar are going back to the polls after the results of presidential and parliamentary held on October 25, 2015 were nullified by the Zanzibar Electoral Commission over vote rigging allegations. — Xinhua.

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