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The African Elections Project :  your authoritative African Elections Information and Knowledge online portal, covering elections across the continent

Projecto Eleições Africanas: seu portal autorizado para informação e conhecimento sobre Eleições Africanas. Cobrindo eleições por toda Áfrca.

Le projet sur les elections en Afrique: votre portail exclusif et credible d'information et de connaissance en ligne, qui couvre les élections à travers le continent
News
Date:11 Aug 2016
Zambia Elects a President amid Tensions and Economic Woes

Voting is underway as Zambians elect a president for the second time in less than two years to lead the country for the next five years.

So far, long queues have been witnessed outside a number of polling stations. In Lusaka the capital city, long queues had formed as early as 05 hours at most polling stations Polls opened at 06:00 local time (04:00 GMT) and will close at 18:00 with the first results within 48 hours of the close of polls.

The death of President Michael Sata in October 2014 initiated a by-election which Edgar Lungu of the Patriotic Front (PF), Zambia’s ruling party, won with just 27,000 vote margin. Aside the presidential polls, Zambians will vote for members of parliament and municipal council representatives, as well as a referendum on whether to amend the Bill of Rights modalities for subsequent constitutional amendments.

Even though nine candidates are running for the presidency, the race is expected to be a two-horse between incumbent President Lungu of the Patriotic Front and Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPND). Conspicuously missing from the presidential race, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), the party that ruled Zambia from 1991 to 2011. Experts say there will be a run-off is as no candidate is likely to garner the 50%+1 of votes cast to win the polls.

A total of 6.7 million are eligible to vote in the polls. Out of this, 3,375,009 are females, while 3,335,446 are males. Some 1.7 million electorates are first time voters.
The elections is the first to be held under the new electoral legal framework and will be the strongest test to the copper-rich nation as one of the most stable and developed democracies in Africa.

A second round will be held within 37 days if any of the candidates fail to garner the required 50%+1 votes cast. The campaign period, which ended yesterday, has been characterised by pockets of violence which necessitated a suspension of campaigning for 10 by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).


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