Zambian presidential election, 2015

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Zambian presidential election, 2015
Zambia
2011 ←
20–21 January 2015 → 2016

5,166,088 registered voters[1]
Simple majority[2] votes needed to win
Turnout 32.36%
  Edgar Lungu January 2015.jpg Hakainde Hichilema 2014.jpg
Nominee Edgar Lungu Hakainde Hichilema
Party PF UPND
Popular vote 807,925 780,168
Percentage 48.33% 46.67%

Zambian 2015 presidential election winner by province.png

Winner by province

President before election

Guy Scott (acting)
PF

Elected President

Edgar Lungu
PF

Presidential elections were held in Zambia on 20 January 2015 to elect a president to serve the remainder of the term of President Michael Sata, following his death on 28 October 2014.[3]

The ruling Patriotic Front candidate Edgar Lungu won by a narrow majority of just 27,757 votes (1.66%) against Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development. Hichilema denounced the elections as a sham and urged his supporters to remain calm.[4][5]

Background

Prior to Sata's death, his ill-health led to political commentators speculating about potential Patriotic Front candidates.[6] Following his death on 28 October, Vice President Guy Scott became acting president and became the first non-Arab white head of state on the African continent since Apartheid-era South Africa's F. W. de Klerk.[7][8]

The constitution required that elections be held within 90 days of the death of an incumbent president.[9] On 18 November, Scott announced the election date, which also launched the campaigning period.[10]

Candidates

On 27 February 2014, the Opposition Alliance was formed to field a common candidate in the 2016 elections. The alliance consisted of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD), the Alliance for Better Zambia, Zambians for Empowerment and Development, the People's Party, and the All People's Congress Party. However, following the death of President Sata and the calling of early elections, however, MMD Deputy National Secretary Chembe Nyangu expressed doubts about whether the alliance would work given the short time period to agree on a candidate.[11]

Patriotic Front

Announced

Withdrawn

Vice President Scott, who was serving as acting president following Sata's death, announced that he would not contest the elections, claiming he was constitutionally barred from doing so.[8] However, although the constitution restricts candidacy to at least third generation Zambians,[19] the Zambian Supreme Court ruled in Lewanika and Others vs. Chiluba that this is not relevant to citizens born before independence in 1964.[20]

Selection

At a General Conference at Mulungushi Rock of Authority during the weekend of 29–30 November Edgar Lungu was selected as the party president and presidential candidate by default, as none of the other candidates were present. However, as the meeting did not follow procedure and included unauthorised delegates, party president Scott called the elections "null and void" and chaired an alternative General Conference at Mulungushi University on 1 December, which saw Miles Sampa chosen as the party's presidential candidate with an overwhelming majority.[21] The Lungu faction had previously obtained an injunction from the High Court against this Conference and denied the legitimacy of Sampa's selection. Three candidates—Kambwili, Simuusa and Lubinda—withdrew from the Conference before the vote, citing distrust of the legitimacy of the delegates present and a wish not to divide the party.

Movement for Multi-Party Democracy

Former President Rupiah Banda

As president of the MMD, Mumba declared himself the party's candidate for the presidency. However, following former President Banda's interest in seeking the presidency, the MMD National Executive Committee, 38 of the 55 members being present, unanimously voted to suspend Mumba from the party presidency and adopt Banda as its presidential candidate.[24] Following this meeting on 18 November 2014, MMD national secretary Muhabi Lungu stated that Mumba had disregarded party organs, namely the NEC, and committed gross misconduct. Mumba contested this decision, stating that he was the legitimately elected leader of the party and was not elected to keep the seat warm for President Banda's future candidacy.[25]

Mumba sought an injunction against Lungu, seeking to restrain Lungu from interfering with the running of Mumba's office and functions of the party president. On 11 December the Lusaka High Court dismissed an interim injunction granted to Mumba on 25 November, with High Court Judge Chalwe Mchenga stating that Mumba failed to specify what Lungu should be precluded from doing and that Lungu cannot be held responsible for failing to comply with an unclear injunction.[26][27]

On appeal, the Supreme Court reversed and ruled on 18 December that the official candidate for the MMD was Nevers Mumba. In an opinion read by Supreme Court Justice Mumba Malila, the Court reasoned that Judge Mchenga erred when ruling and failed to consider evidence submitted to the Court by Mumba that sufficiently showed the parameters of the injunction that the High Court had stated were unclear.[28][29] A week later, Banda released a statement in which he thanked his supporters, but told them to respect the Supreme Court's decision.[30] Mumba subsequently expelled Muhabi Lungu and vice secretary Chembe Nyangu from their positions for insubordination.[31]

United Party for National Development

The UPND's National Management Committee unanimously agreed to field party leader and prior presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema on 14 November 2014.[32] Hichilema also received the support of Charles Milupi and the Alliance for Democracy and Development on 25 November.[33]

Minor party candidates

Results

Lungu won by a narrow majority of just 27,757 votes (1.66%). Hichilema denounced the elections as a sham and urged his supporters to remain calm and prepare for the next general elections in 2016.[5]

Candidate Party Votes %
Edgar Lungu Patriotic Front 807,925 48.33
Hakainde Hichilema United Party for National Development 780,168 46.67
Edith Nawakwi Forum for Democracy and Development 15,321 0.92
Nevers Mumba Movement for Multi-Party Democracy 14,609 0.87
Tilyenji Kaunda United National Independence Party 9,737 0.58
Eric Chanda Fourth Revolution Party 8,054 0.48
Elias Chipimo Jr National Restoration Party 6,002 0.36
Godfrey Miyanda Heritage Party 5,757 0.34
Daniel Pule Christian Democratic Party 3,293 0.20
Ludwig Sondashi Forum for Democratic Alternatives 2,073 0.12
Peter Sinkamba Green Party of Zambia 1,410 0.08
Invalid/blank votes 17,313
Total 1,671,662 100
Registered voters/turnout 5,166,084 32.36
Source: Electoral Commission of Zambia

Four votes appear to be unaccounted for. The final results released by the Electoral Commission of Zambia on its website indicate the total registered voters as 5,166,084,[38] as opposed to 5,166,088 previously published in the Certified Register of Voters.[39]

Aftermath

A cross section of the crowd at the inauguration ceremony.

Lungu was inaugurated as the sixth President on 25 January 2015 at the National Heroes Stadium in the capital Lusaka. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe attended swearing in ceremony in his capacity as the Chairman of the Southern African Development Community.[40] Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission congratulated the Zambian people on the successful elections.[40]

See also

References

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  3. Zambia to hold presidential by-election January 20 Reuters, 18 November 2014
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