Zambian general election, 2021

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2021 Zambian general election

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Presidential election
Turnout70.61% (Increase 14.16 pp)
  HH2022.png Edgar Lungu, 26 july 2018 (cropped).jpg
Nominee Hakainde Hichilema Edgar Lungu
Running mate Mutale Nalumango Nkandu Luo
Popular vote 2,852,348 1,870,780
Percentage 59.02% 38.71%

Maps-blogs21-lightonphiri org-2021 zambia presidential elections-by constituencies-overall.svg

President before election

Edgar Lungu

Elected President

Hakainde Hichilema

National Assembly election

156 of the 167 seats in the National Assembly
85 seats needed for a majority
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Party Leader % Seats ±
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.
Speaker of the National Assembly before Speaker of the National Assembly after
Patrick Matibini

General elections were held in Zambia on 12 August 2021 to elect the President and National Assembly. President-elect Hakainde Hichilema was declared the winner after when releasing the final results from 156 constituencies, defeating incumbent Edgar Lungu. Hichilema secured 2,810,777 votes while Lungu was in second place with 1,814,201 votes, out of 7 million registered voters

Electoral system

The President is elected via the two-round system. Of the 167 members of the National Assembly, 156 are elected by the first-past-the-post system in single-member constituencies, with a further eight appointed by the President and three others being ex officio members: the vice president, the Speaker and one deputy speaker elected from outside the National Assembly (while the second deputy speaker is chosen from the elected members of the house). The voting age is 18, whilst National Assembly candidates must be at least 21.


A total of sixteen candidates registered to run for the presidency. The race is expected to be a close race between Edgar Lungu of the Patriotic Front and Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development. Both competed in the 2016 presidential elections, which Lungu won by a margin 50.35% to 47.63%.

Presidential candidate Running mate Party
1. Edgar Lungu Nkandu Luo Patriotic Front
2. Enock Tonga Bright Chomba 3rd Liberation Movement
3. Sean Tembo Henry Muleya Patriots For Economic Progress
4. Andyford Banda Gerald Mulao People’s Alliance For Change
5. Chishala Kateka Samuel Kasanka New Heritage Party
6. Kasonde Mwenda Changala Siame Economic Freedom Fighters
7. Stephen Nyirenda Lucy Changwe National Restoration Party
8. Lazarus Chisela Rosemary Chivumba Zambians United For Sustainable Development
9. Richard Silumbe Kaela Kamwenshe Leadership Movement
10. Highvie Hamududu Kasote Singogo Party of National Unity and Progress
11. Fred M'membe Cosmas Musumali Socialist Party
12. Harry Kalaba Judith Kabemba Democratic Party
13. Hakainde Hichilema Mutale Nalumango United Party for National Development
14. Nevers Mumba Reuben Sambo Movement for Multi-Party Democracy
15. Charles Chanda Simon Mbulu United Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia
16. Trevor Mwamba John Harawa United National Independence Party


On 15 May 2021 Electoral Commission of Zambia chair Esau Chulu launched the start of the election campaign. However politicians were advised to minimise large crowd gatherings during campaign meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Assembly was dissolved on 12 May by President Edgar Lungu to provide a level playing field in the campaign.However, Lungu remains in office as per constitutional requirements until the new president is elected.

Violence and virus cases rise

On 26 May Lungu launched his own campaign. He also directed the police service and Ministry of Health to ensure enforcement of the COVID-19 pandemic health regulations and guidelines without fear or favour. On 3 June, due to the rise in COVID 19 cases, the Electoral Commission suspended campaign rallies again to avoid large crowds. On 15 June the Electoral Commission banned the Patriotic Front and United Party for National Development from campaigning in Lusaka, Mpulungu, Namwala and Nakonde due to political violence. The Commission also banned all roadshows across the country to curb the transmission of COVID-19. On 1 August Lungu ordered the deployment of the military to help the police fight escalating political violence during the campaign.

Hakainde Hichilema blocked

On 28 July UPND Secretary General Batuke Imenda released a statement that the party was disappointed with government institutions being used by President Lungu to block UPND presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema from campaigning. On 30 July Hichilema and his campaign team were prevented from entering Chipata and detained on the runway of Chipata Airport. Before Hichilema's arrival in Chipata, police had teargassed his supporters. On 3 August police in Mbala blocked Hichilema and his campaign team from entering the town, with police claiming that he needed a permit to enter.


On 12 August during the election day several Twitter users went to the platfom to report that Social media and messaging apps, including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp appeared to be shutdown in the country.But internet users are using VPN services to bypass the restrictions on WhatsApp and these other social media platforms. However Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary, Amos Malupenga, denied the reports, calling them “malicious.” He further went on "that the government would not tolerate abuse of the internet and if any mischief occurred, therefore the goverment, expects citizens to use the internet responsibly. But if some people choose to abuse the internet to mislead and misinform, the government will not hesitate to invoke relevant legal provisions to forestall any breakdown of law and order as the country passes through the election period,” Malupenga said. Despite his comment, social media sites are shut down and citizens have resorted to using VPNs.

Preliminary results


Hakainde HichilemaUnited Party for National Development2,810,75759.38
Edgar LunguPatriotic Front1,814,20138.33
Harry KalabaDemocratic Party24,8790.53
Andyford BandaPeople’s Alliance For Change19,8040.42
Fred M'membeSocialist Party16,3790.35
Highvie HamududuParty of National Unity and Progress10,3880.22
Chishala KatekaNew Heritage Party8,0630.17
Charles ChandaUnited Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia6,5200.14
Lazarus ChiselaZambians United For Sustainable Development5,2290.11
Nevers MumbaMovement for Multi-Party Democracy4,8090.10
Enock Tonga3rd Liberation Movement3,0880.07
Trevor MwambaUnited National Independence Party2,9920.06
Sean TemboPatriots For Economic Progress1,7980.04
Stephen NyirendaNational Restoration Party1,7660.04
Kasonde MwendaEconomic Freedom Fighters1,3310.03
Richard SilumbeLeadership Movement1,2830.03
Valid votes4,733,28797.43
Invalid/blank votes124,9062.57
Total votes4,858,193100.00
Registered voters/turnout7,023,49969.17
Source: ECZ (155 out of 156 constituencies reporting)



  • On 14 August Lungu the incumbent president declared the elections "not free and fair" pointing to the violence that happed in three provinces during election day when two members were murdered and supporters are in hiding he also added that the governing party polling agents were brutalized and chased from polling stations a situation that left the ruling party votes unprotected.


  •  European Union: On 14 August the EU Chief observer published a Press Release only commenting on observation undertaken up until the 14th of August. Maria Arena the Chief observer Said the election was largely calm and well-administered despite long queues, which shows the devotion of Zambians to exercise their right to vote, however concerning the campaign, the Chief Observer noted that the campaigns took place in a highly competitive environment adding that selective application of laws and regulations, misuse of state resources and one-sided media reporting meant that a level playing field was not achieved.


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