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Mwanawasa wins 2006 elections

Een artikel van de Zambiaanse journaliste Zarina Geloo.
Lees de samenvatting en download het hele artikel als pfd bestand.

Zambian president Levy Mwanawasa has secured a second term of office with almost 60 percent of the population having rejected him.

Mwanawasa managed to get about 1,177,000 votes. His closest rival Patriotic Frontís Michael Sata managed to get about 805,000 while the United Democratic alliance (UDA) managed to get around 694, 000.
Fifty one percent of the voters were women.

Free and fair?
The local monitoring groups have acknowledged that there were some anomalies and received the results with great reservations. The groups have urged government to look into complaints of rigging and corruption which marred the election as it did on a larger scale in the last elections in 2001.

As forecasted by the opinion polls, Mwanawasa won the elections, although by a lesser margin than they had predicted. While the polls also state that his win was because the MMD was still a popular party, voting patterns and the tone of the campaigns in which Sata kept shooting himself in the foot, tell a different story.

Sata's campaign
The urban votes went to Sata. While Sata was hoping that his immense popularity in three provinces, would translate into overwhelming votes, this did not happen for several reasons, mainly because of his belligerent and abrasive manner which scared many people about his capacity as a ruler.

His biggest mistake was when Chiluba publicly endorsed Sata for president and the PF adopted disgruntled ex MMD candidates. Coupled with his statements that he would stop the prosecution of Chiluba and others accused of plunder, Sata attracted flak that he was condoning corruption and plunder. Many people in rural areas blame the Chiluba administration for their poverty.

Mwanawasa won rural votes
His message that he had set the foundation for development in the last five years, now the people should give him the mandate to build on the foundation. It appeared to work, because it is from the rural vote that he managed to get one over Sata.

Mwanawasa made use of the state machinery in spite of the electoral code of conduct which forbid this. He used government vehicles and offices and in most cases, the state secret service was employed to help him campaign.

Hichilema won 25%
He appealed to the middle class, the youth and business people talking about creating investment opportunities, and encouraging entrepreneurship as a vehicle to improve peoples lives. An economist and successful businessman he brought a breath of fresh air in the staid political environment surfeit with old politicians .

No petition
Even though local monitors say the opposition have justification for crying foul, there is very little interest in pursuing a petition. The lessons from the 2001 presidential petition have taught parties that it is a time consuming and often unfulfilling exercise.

'Mwanawasa wins 2006 elections', het hele artikel als pdf bestand: mwanawasa-wins-2006-elections.pdf (57 Kb)