The man who came second in last week’s Zambian special presidential election has called for a new constitution that will ensure a truly independent electoral commission. Hakainde Hichilema of the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) said the current commission serves the interest of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party because its members are appointed by the president. The election commission said PF candidate Edgar Lungu won 48.3 percent of the vote, while Hichilema finished second with 46.7 percent. … Asked if he will run again in the next presidential election, Hichilema said he would leave that decision up to his party’s central committee to decide. He said Zambia needs electoral reform.
Zambia’s ruling party candidate Edgar Lungu on Thursday edged ahead in the race to replace the late president Michael Sata, authorities said as voting continued in parts of the country. According to the Electoral Commission of Zambia, ballots from 90 of the 150 constituencies had been counted by Thursday afternoon. Lungu, the ruling Patriotic Front’s candidate, was leading with 590,252 votes, closely followed by opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development with 524,976. Nevers Mumba of the former ruling party Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) was meanwhile trailing a distant third with 8,831 ballots. Final results were expected to be released on Friday.
Zambia`s defence minister Edgar Lungu, of the ruling Patriotic Front, has narrowly won the country`s presidential race, the electoral commission announced Saturday after an election marred by delays. Lungu won 48.33 percent of the vote, beating his rival Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPND), who garnered 46.67 percent. Lungu`s victory was greeted with cheers and dancing after the chairwoman of the Electoral Commission of Zambia, Ireen Mambilima, announced the results of this week`s vote, which Hichilema has denounced as a sham. Some of the celebrations in the streets of capital Lusaka got out of hand, with police using teargas to disperse excited PF supporters who tried to force their way into the conference centre where the announcement was made.
Zambian police fired tear gas Wednesday to disperse about 100 supporters of the leading opposition candidate, as a hotly-contested presidential election was extended into a third day. A number of Hakainde Hichilema’s supporters in the United Party for National Development were arrested and bundled into a police van, an AFP correspondent saw. Police initially asked the supporters to disperse but one of them shouted back at the officers, who then drove them off with batons and tear gas.
Zambians voted Tuesday in a special election to replace President Michael Sata, who died in office in October after a long illness kept secret by the government.Sata’s death unleashed ugly power struggles in the governing Patriotic Front party and the southern African country’s biggest opposition party, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy, both of which had to be resolved in court. In the Patriotic Front, the acting president, Guy Scott, a white Zambian of Scottish descent, battled the minister for defense and justice, Edgar Lungu. The two factions held separate conferences to select a candidate in Tuesday’s vote, with Lungu emerging as the winner after the conflict went to court. The Movement for Multiparty Democracy, Zambia’s largest opposition party, was in office for two decades until 2011, when Sata and the Patriotic Front took power. But the party split over its candidate in this election, initially selecting former President Rupiah Banda, a move challenged successfully in court by party leader Nevers Mumba.
Polling opened on Tuesday in Zambia’s tightly contested vote to elect a president after a ruling party power struggle following the death of Michael Sata in office last year. The two top contenders are Defence Minister Edgar Lungu (58) representing the ruling Patriotic Front (PF), and opposition candidate Hakainde Hichilema (52) of the United Party for National Development (UPND). At stake is the remaining year and a half of Sata’s five-year term in Africa’s second biggest copper producer, where new taxes on the metal have become a surprising election issue. Lungu’s party introduced the tax in January, while Hichilema has promised to scrap it, pledging a business-friendly Zambia. The rivals – Lungu the lawyer and Hichilema the businessman, affectionately known as HH – drew huge crowds at last-minute rallies.
A senior official of the Electoral Commission of Zambia says the organization is ready to supervise a credible presidential by-election on Tuesday. Official campaigning ends on Monday ahead of the poll. The commission’s director of elections, Priscilla Isaac, says both sensitive and non-sensitive materials have been dispatched to ensure all polling centers across the country can open on time for the vote. “We have really tried to be on top of things and we will be ready to open polling station on time on the 20th,” says Isaac. “We dispatched the last set of ballot papers to the districts – that was Thursday. So all the ballot papers are all in the districts and now just waiting for the deployment to the respective polling stations with the polling staff … We know that everybody will be in place by the 19th at all their respective polling stations, in readiness for the polls on Tuesday.”
Eleven candidates have successfully filed in their nomination papers with the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to run for president in next month’s presidential election called to replace the late president Michael Sata who died in October.Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda who is Returning Officer Monday received the nomination papers from the eleven candidates who include one woman, opposition leader Edith Nawakwi who is president of the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD).
Elections to choose a new government in Zimbabwe will go ahead on July 31, the disputed date that President Robert Mugabe, had unilaterally set, the country’s top court ruled on Thursday. The court dismissed appeals by both Mugabe and his nemesis Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, to have the date postponed following pressure from regional leaders. “Elections should proceed on the 31st of July 2013 in terms of the proclamation by the president in compliance with the order of this court,” chief justice Godfrey Chidyausiku ruled. The presidential vote will be held on the same day as parliamentary elections to replace an uneasy power-sharing deal between Mugabe and Tsvangirai in place since 2009. Mugabe had lodged an appeal to shift by two weeks the date that he had himself set, after regional bloc the Southern African Development Community (SADC) asked him to allow more time for preparations.
Zambian President Michael Sata has commended the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) for valuing lives more than elections by postponing the Livingstone parliamentary by-election which was scheduled to take place Thursday. ECZ chairperson Justice Irene Mabilima on Wednesday announced that the commission had decided to postpone the Livingstone parliamentary by-election, scheduled for 28 February, following violence that had trailed the campaigns that resulted in the death of Harrison Chanda, on Monday, according to an official of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF). Police picked up more than 10 members from the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND), including its leader Hakainde Hichelema and two UPND members of parliament in connection with the killing of Chanda who died after a clash between UPND and PF. The UPND leader has been charged with proposing violence.
The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has said ballot papers for the three November 24 Parliamentary by-elections will be printed by the traditional printers, Universal Printing Group (UPG) in Durban, South Africa. ECZ public relations manager Cris Akufuna said officials from the commission would soon leave for South Africa in readiness for the printing. Mr Akufuna said in Chongwe yesterday that the costing for the whole exercise would soon be consolidated now that nomination papers had been filed.
President Michael Sata recently said that this would be the last time Zambia would print ballot papers outside the country, as the task would be undertaken by Government Printers after it has been fully equipped. The by-elections are slated for Chongwe, Magoye and Nakonde constituencies.
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 asks Electoral Commission of Zambia to “stop being arrogant” about verifying voter’s details | Zambian Watchdog
Patriotic Front Kabwata Member of Parliament (MP) Given Lubinda has asked the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to stop being arrogant and heed to calls to continue verifying voter’s details.
Lubinda said the commission should extend the exercise to allow the electorate to correct their details so they will be able to exercise their democratic right on polling day.