Zambians go to the polls on January 20 to elect a new leader following the death of President Michael Sata in October. Edgar Lungu, candidate for the ruling Patriotic Front party, appears to have a slight advantage. He faces stiff competition, though, from popular opposition candidate Hakainde Hichilema, who has received an unexpected boost from infighting within the ruling party. The ruling Patriotic Front (PF) was rocked by a leadership battle as contenders jostled for the presidential nomination, just days after President Michael Sata’s death in late October. But seeds of the clashes started earlier, when Lungu, who holds the twin portfolios of justice and defense minister, was controversially appointed the party’s secretary-general in August. He ousted then-justice minister Wynter Kabimba, once considered the most likely successor to the top seat.
Zambia’s main opposition Movement for Multi-Party Democracy said on Saturday it was pleased with a decision by the country’s top court that saved it from being dissolved. The decision by the high court a day earlier was “proof that there is justice in the judiciary,” said Chembe Nyangu, the MMD’s deputy national secretary. “It is good that the high court has granted us the stay of execution and we know that this case will be heard in a fair way,” said Chembe.
Zambia’s Chief Justice is scheduled to swear-in veteran opposition leader Michael Sata as the country’s new president Friday. The electoral commission declared Mr. Sata, leader of the Patriotic Front (PF), winner of Tuesday’s presidential vote. He defeated incumbent President Rupiah Banda of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD).
Director of Elections Priscilla Isaacs said the electoral commission met its target of releasing the final results of the vote within the 48-hour deadline it set for itself.
Zambia: Patriotic Front opposes Movement for Multi-Party Democracy origins case submissions | The Post Newspapers Zambia
The opposition PF has asked the High Court to dismiss with costs the preliminary issues raised by the Attorney General, the MMD and the Electoral Commission of Zambia in a case relating to President Rupiah Banda’s parentage issue. According to submissions in opposition to the defendants’ submissions, Wynter Kabimba who sued in his capacity as PF secretary general, asked the court to dismiss the preliminary issues on grounds that they are misconceived.
In this case, Kabimba sued the Attorney General, MMD national secretary Major Richard Kachingwe and the Electoral Commission of Zambia claiming that the ruling party cannot by law sponsor President Rupiah Banda because his parents are not Zambian citizens.