Zambian general election, 1988

From Chalo Chatu, Zambia online encyclopedia

General elections were held in Zambia on 26 October 1988. At the time, the country was a one-party state, and as such, the United National Independence Party was the sole contestant in the elections. Its candidate Kenneth Kaunda was re-elected as President with 95.5% of the vote, whilst UNIP won all 125 seats in the National Assembly.[1] Voter turnout was around 60% in the parliamentary election,[2] but 58.8% in the presidential election.[3]


Prior to the elections, primary elections were held to elect candidates for the 125 constituencies. Only UNIP members could vote in the primaries, and the top three candidates would be able to stand for the National Assembly election.[4] In total, 706 people stood for election to the National Assembly, of which 612 were approved the UNIP central committee.[2]



Kaunda was the sole candidate for president, and voters voted yes or no to his candidacy.

Choice Votes %
Yes 1,414,000 95.5
No 67,000 4.5
Invalid/blank votes 48,000
Total 1,529,000 100
Registered voters/turnout 2,600,000 58.8
Source: Nohlen et al.

National Assembly

Party Votes % Seats +/–
United National Independence Party 100 125 0
Presidential appointees 10 0
Appointed Speaker 1 0
Invalid/blank votes
Total 100 136 0
Registered voters/turnout 2,600,000
Source: African Elections Database


Following protests and riots in 1990, the constitution was amended to allow other parties to challenge UNIP in the 1991 elections.


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  1. Elections in Zambia African Elections Database
  2. 2.0 2.1 Zambia 1988 Inter-Parliamentary Union
  3. Nohlen, D, Krennerich, M & Thibaut, B (1999) Elections in Africa: A data handbook, p954 ISBN 0-19-829645-2
  4. Zambia: 1973 and 1978 one-party elections EISA