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Zambian Observer Hails US Election

One of the Africans who observed the US elections is John Phiri of Zambia. He’s the executive director of the Zambia branch of an international NGO, Global Justice. Phiri is also here courtesy of the US State Department. He was in Cincinnati, Ohio, during the announcement of the results yesterday.

Phiri told VOA English to Africa reporter Douglas Mpuga that he thought the US elections were well organized and went well. “Frankly speaking, here in Cincinnati the elections went smoothly. People voted, and I think the election was free and fair.”

He said he was impressed by the speed and ease with which the results were announced. “It’s interesting everybody expected the results to come in late but things seemed to have moved systematically and results came in earlier than expected.”

Phiri also noted that the high turnout was impressive. He commended Senator John McCain’s immediate concession speech. He described it as “a mature speech” and hailed Obama’s victory speech as gracious.

He said, “I just hope that [this] kind of democracy is emulated across the globe where losers fail to accept defeat and instead insult each other.”

Phiri described his experience here as an international observer as serious and useful. “I have learnt so much, especially in campaign strategy. He laughed and added, “Well who knows? [Maybe] it will help my political career in Zambia in the future!”