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Zambians Head to Vote Their Next President This Thursday

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Zambians head tovote their next president this Thursday 12th/08/2021, parliament and also local councils with 7,023,499 registered voters across 12,152 polling stations from 156 constituencies according to electoral commission data base in Zambia.

16 candidates are struggling to unseat EDGAR LUNGU, their incumbent who has been Zambia’s president elected six years back having took office in 2015.

However, there is too much pressure between the incumbent President Edgar Lungu of the Patriotic Front (PF) and the United Party of National Development (UPND) candidate, Hakainde Hichilema and this is considered as a two-horse race according to political analysts in Zambia.

Other contestants include, Enock Tanga (3rd Liberation Movement), Sean Tembo (Patriots for Economic Progress), Andyford Banda (People’s Alliance for Change), Chishala Kateka (New Heritage Party), Kasonde Mwenda (Economic Freedom Fighters), Stephen Nyirenda (National Restoration Party), Lazarus Chisela (Zambians United For Sustainable Development), Richard Silumbe (Leadership Movement), Highvie Hamududu (Party of National Unity and Progress).

Fred M’membe (Socialist Party), Harry Kalaba (Democratic Party), Nevers Mumba (Movement for Mult-party Democracy) , Charles Chanda (United Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia) and Trevor Mwamba ( United National Independence Party)

The official results may take days to declare since also the previous 2016 elections, the results were declared 4 days after the election took place.
If no presidential candidate receives more than 50% of the valid votes cast, a run-off will be held between the two highest ranking candidates within 37 days of the initial ballot.

In 2016, Lungu reached the 50% + 1 threshold by just 13 000 votes. No other candidate secured 1% of the vote.

It should be noted that Zambia is one of the fastest declining democracies in Africa and globally. Arbitrary arrests and detentions without charge have become commonplace with Hakainde Hichilema having been detained on 15 occasions.

Although COVID-19 restrictions have prevented parties from campaigning in the usual ways, President Lungu and his running mate have continued touring the country on ‘official businesses accompanied by campaign signage, songs and handouts. Meanwhile, Hichilema and his team have been routinely blocked from travelling.

Police have regularly blocked or restricted the movements of opposition parties according to Christian Churches Monitoring Group, noting police ‘disproportionately’ break up events hosted by the UPND.

The opposition has also struggled to secure access to media. Independent outlets such as The Post, Prime TV, Muvi TV and Komboni Radio have all had their licences revoked or cancelled on either a temporary or permanent basis since President Lungu came to office since some Zambia Media stations come under attack for hosting opposition politicians.

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