Korte geschiedenis
     Kaart Zambia
  Civil Society
  Partners NiZA
  Overige dossiers
Zambia goes to the polls

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

Zambia goes to the polls on the 28th of September in an election with five presidential candidates, which is in reality a two horse race between incumbent Levy Mwanawasa (MMD) and his long time nemesis Patriotic Front (PF) leader Michael Sata.

The Election Commission shows some teeth
The election process has some differences from the last elections in 2001 which were fraught with rigging and corruption. The Election Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has established an electoral code of conduct which bars vote buying through donations during the campaign period. It also bars candidates from insulting each other and penalises political parties for violence.
The media too has been reigned in. There will be no speculation or analyses about the election results, only the ECZ will be authorised to announce results.
To avoid chances of rigging, the ECZ very determinedly awarded a tender to print the ballot papers to a South African company
In spite of these guidelines however the ruling Movement for Multi Party Democracy (MMD) candidates have continued to make donations during the period.

There is one area that has not changed however, the campaigns. While there was hope that the campaigns would focus on the ‘meatier’ issues of AIDS, poverty and development, they have as usual, degenerated into character assassinations. While all parties have in their manifestos the ideals of creating employment, reducing poverty and introducing free education and medical health, none of the documents outline exactly how this will be done.

The MMD and PF are likely to split the seats in the 150 seat parliament with a very few going to the other parties. Unfortunately, the other candidates have been over shadowed by the spats between the two.

UDA Alliance
There is the political novice Hikainde Hichilema, a 44 year old accountant who took over the mantle of the United Party for National Democracy (UPND). He heads the alliance his party created with UNIP, which ruled Zambia for 27 years under Kenneth Kaunda and the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD).
Coming from the corporate world, it is understood that the IMF and the World Bank would prefer him as the next Zambian president. It is expected that the UDA alliance will come in third after MMD and PF in parliament.

More interest
The electorate might be undecided between Mwanawasa and Sata, but at least this time around, there appears to be more interest and debate on the electoral process and on the candidates. In almost all campaign rallies where chitenge (cotton wrappers), food and money are given out, people have said they will accept the gifts but “will vote wisely” . which is a major turnaround in a country where gifts and alms were enough to buy a candidate a vote.

'Zambia goes to the polls', het hele artikel als pdf bestand: zambia-goes-to-the-polls.pdf (26 Kb)