Zambian presidential election, 2015
5,166,088 registered voters
Simple majority votes needed to win
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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.
Prior to Sata's death, his ill-health led to political commentators speculating about potential Patriotic Front candidates. 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.
The constitution required that elections be held within 90 days of the death of an incumbent president. On 18 November, Scott announced the election date, which also launched the campaigning period.
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.
- Selemani Pangula Banda, Diplomat, former Airforce Captain and former Zambian High Commissioner to Nigeria.
- Chishimba Kambwili, Minister of Sports.
- Christine Kaseba, MD, gynaecologist, obstretician and widow of President Michael Sata.
- Edgar Lungu, lawyer, Minister of Defence and Justice and former Secretary General of PF.
- Given Lubinda, MP, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Secretary General of PF.
- Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba ("GBM"), businessman, former Minister of Defence.
- Miles Sampa, Commerce Deputy Minister, Matero MP and nephew of Michael Sata.
- Robert Sichinga, Commerce Minister.
- Wylbur Simuusa, Minister of Agriculture
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. However, although the constitution restricts candidacy to at least third generation Zambians, the Zambian Supreme Court ruled in Lewanika and Others vs. Chiluba that this is not relevant to citizens born before independence in 1964.
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. 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
- Rupiah Banda, former President of Zambia.
- Nevers Mumba, minister and former televangelist, MMD President.
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. 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.
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.
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. A week later, Banda released a statement in which he thanked his supporters, but told them to respect the Supreme Court's decision. Mumba subsequently expelled Muhabi Lungu and vice secretary Chembe Nyangu from their positions for insubordination.
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. Hichilema also received the support of Charles Milupi and the Alliance for Democracy and Development on 25 November.
Minor party candidates
- Tilyenji Kaunda (United National Independence Party), son to the former President Kenneth Kaunda.
- Godfrey Miyanda (Heritage Party), retired Major General, former Vice-President.
- Edith Nawakwi (Forum for Democracy and Development), former Energy and Finance Minister.
- Peter Sinkamba (Green Party of Zambia)
- Daniel Pule (Christian Democratic Party), Church Apostle, former Deputy Minister.
- Elias Chipimo Jr (National Restoration Party), former Corporate Lawyer.
- Ludwig Sondashi (Forum for Democratic Alternatives), former Works and Supply Minister.
Lungu won by a narrow plurality 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.
|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|
|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, as opposed to 5,166,088 previously published in the Certified Register of Voters.
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 the swearing in ceremony in his capacity as the Chairman of the Southern African Development Community. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, congratulated the Zambian people on the successful elections.
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