Zambia. In January, presidential elections were arranged in which the replacement of the deceased Michael Sata in October would be appointed. The election was preceded by power struggles and internal strife within the ruling party Patriotic Front (PF). Edgar Lungu, the party’s secretary general and the country’s Justice and Defense Minister, had the backing of one phalanx, and Sata’s nephew Miles Sampa by another. The latter also had Guy Scott, the vice president who stepped in as interim president after Sata’s death, on his side. In the end, a ruling was required in the Supreme Court before it became clear that Lungu would be the party’s presidential candidate.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Lusaka is the capital of Zambia which is located in Eastern Africa. The election itself became a very even fight between Lungu and Hakainde Hichilema, who was running for Parliament’s largest opposition party, the United National Development Party (UPND). The former received 48% of the vote against 47% for Hichilema, a difference corresponding to just under 28,000 votes. The turnout was very low; only 32% of voters participated. Lungu took office at the end of January and will hold office until the regular presidential elections are held in September 2016. He also held the post of Minister of Defense, but in August appointed Richwell Siamunene from UPND as his successor in this position. Already in March, Lungu fired Vice President Guy Scott and appointed Inonge Wina, who became the first woman in the post. The same month, Ireen Mambilima was appointed chairman of the Supreme Court.
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In March, fears were raised that Lungu, like Sata, would be sick. The head of state collapsed during a political meeting in Lusaka. It turned out that he was suffering from akalasi, a condition that makes it more difficult for food to pass through the lower part of the esophagus. Lungu was operated the same month in South Africa.
In June, Rupiah Banda, President 2008-11, was released from charges of bribery in connection with an oil deal with Nigeria. That same month, Zambia, along with 26 other countries, signed the Tripartite Free Trade Area Free Trade Agreement. However, the agreement must be approved by the parliaments of the countries before it can enter into force. The agreement covers countries from Egypt in the north to South Africa in the south.
Kaunda saw the struggle between political parties as a threat to unity, and from 1972 the so-called participatory one-party democracy (the “other republic”) with UNIP started as a state-bearing party. But the regime was hit by major economic hardships: world copper prices dropped, oil prices rose. The freedom struggle in Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe also made Zambia a target because of support for the liberation movements. The transport routes were disturbed, especially through Angola. Zambia was hit by strong inflation and became one of the world’s most indebted nations. The one-party system favored corruption and mismanagement. Discontent grew, especially among students and unions. The union’s chairman, Frederick Chiluba, emerged as Kaunda’s foremost rival in power. As a remission, the government allowed 1989Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) with Chiluba as leader.
In October 1991, for the first time, elections were held in Zambia with a new constitution that allowed several parties. It was a stinging defeat for UNIP and Kaunda. MMD won big and Chiluba became president. It looked like a victory for democracy in Africa that a sitting president voluntarily resigned after the defeat. But there was no triumph for democracy. The new government interfered with the press and denied Kaunda the right to stand in elections, including through a constitutional amendment that prevents anyone from being president for more than two terms of office. Kaunda was arrested in 1997, accused of having known an attempted coup, and in 1999 he was for a time deprived of his Zambian citizenship on the grounds that his parents were of foreign origin.