All set for Zambia Presidential By-Election

JANUARY 19, 2015

It’s all systems go as Zambia goes to the polls on Tuesday to choose a new president. Ballot papers have reportedly been delivered and observer missions have begun dispatching teams to polling centres.

Zambia’s electoral commission says it’s set to administer the polls while the voters decide to over change or continuity when they elect their sixth president.

Tuesday’s presidential by-election will fill the vacancy created by the death of President Michael Sata last year and while the winner will only serve 18 months in office before the general elections, it’s a by-election which is being fiercely contested.

Eleven candidates are competing but many see the election as a two-horse race.

It pits former businessman Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPND) against ruling Patriotic Front’s President Edgar Lungu, who reportedly is a favourite in the capital, Lusaka.

Lungu, who is currently Zambian Minister of Defence and Justice Minister, will need to further the job that Sata left. Sata was commended for infrastructural development and throughout Lusaka, economic boom is apparent – with at least half a dozen South African shops and malls.

Those voting for Hichilema, who held his last well-attended rally on Sunday despite heavy rains, want more political reforms.

Founding father Kenneth Kaunda and Federrick Chiluba’s parties not considered contenders in this election as Zambians are not known for their sentimentalism.

Instead, voters are looking to young parties in the hope they can continue the country's current and prosperous path.

Caption: COULD HE BE ZAMBIA'S NEXT PRESIDENT:  Zambian Minister of Defence and Justice Minister and the ruling Patriotic Front’s President, Edgar Lungu. Image VoA.