Zambian political landscape has seen five presidents come and go fifty years down the road. These presidents had come from three political parties; United National Independence Party (UNIP) with one president (Kenneth Kaunda), Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) with three presidents (FTJ Chiluba, LP Mwanawasa & Rupiah Banda) and the Patriotic Front (PF) with two presidents so far (Michael Sata & Edgar Lungu).
The country went to the polls on the 20th of January 2015 to elect its sixth president. The following is what has happened so far.
Zambia’s first president Kenneth Kaunda (UNIP) was elected Zambia’s president after the country gained independence in 1964. Kaunda was re-elected in the subsequent elections that followed and his reign lasted for 27 years from 1964 (Independence) to 1991.
In 1991, the constitution was amended and opposition parties were legalised. Among the parties was the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD).
Kenneth Kaunda (KK) lost the October 31st, 1991 elections to Fredrick T. Chiluba, the trade unionist under the MMD. Chiluba became Zambia’s second president.
Chiluba was replaced by Levy Patrick Mwanawasa also under MMD, who at one time was the vice-president to Fredrick T. Chiluba.
However, Mwanawasa‘s term in office was short-lived as on 19th August 2008, Levy Mwanawasa died after he suffered a stroke and the following elections ushered in his then vice-president Rupiah Banda as the new president.
Rupiah Banda (MMD) was the fourth Zambian president until 20th September 2011 elections in which Michael C Sata, from the opposition Patriotic Front (PF), became victorious. Rupiah Banda was in office from 2008 to 2011.
Michael Sata became the fifth Zambian president, but like Mwanawasa, Sata didn’t finish his term in office. He also died while still in office.
Elections were held on the 20th of January 2015 and Edgar Chagwa Lungu, also from the Patriotic Front, won the elections.
Mr Edgar Lungu was justice minister in the Sata government and also held a number of other ministerial posts.
Apart from the incumbent President Edgar Lungu, there are also eight (8) other presidential candidates who are also vying for the presidency. Some of them include Hakainde Hichilema (President) of the United Party for National Development (UPND) and Edith Nawakwi (President) of the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD).
The 2016 polls were held under the new constitution which has a number of notable changes like the requirement that presidential candidates must have running mates and also the victorious president should win by a percentage of fifty plus one. Previously, the presidential candidate with a simple majority was the winner.
The other notable change was that the vice president is be voted directly by the people and that the vice of the serving president will ascend to the presidency should anything happen to the serving president.
On 11 August 2016, Zambians went to the polls. 3,781,505 voters turned up to vote. Edgar C Lungu was again elected as the sixth Zambian president, serving his second term. (See The Election Results Here).
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