“I am very impressed by the peaceful way in which the presidential, parliamentary and local elections were conducted in Zambia on 20 September, and the dignified transition of power from the outgoing president, Rupiah Banda, to the new president, Michael Sata,” said Norwegian Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim.
Zambia has now joined the still relatively small number of African countries where there has twice been a peaceful transition of government following an election. “I wish to congratulate President Sata on his election. And even more, I wish to congratulate the people of Zambia for having participated in these elections in such an exemplary way,” said Mr Solheim. “I hope that the conduct of these elections and the ensuing smooth transition will be a model for other countries in the region.”
Mr Solheim commended the Electoral Commission of Zambia for managing the elections in a transparent and credible manner. A number of national and international observers, including from Norway, also contributed to the transparency of the process.
Norway has been providing development assistance to Zambia since the late 1960s. In recent years the economic and political cooperation between Norway and Zambia has been broadened, e.g. in efforts to improve tax administration and the management of natural and mineral resources, and in the campaign against cluster munitions and mine clearance efforts.