Zambia - report

Record number of candidates for Zambian presidential poll

Reuters
Text by: Kathy Sikombe
2 min

As Zambia's 20 September elections draw near 15 presidential candidates have successfully filed their nominations before the country ‘s supreme court. This is the highest number of presidential candidates in the country since independence in 1964.

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Campaign fever has gripped Zambia as five million voters prepare to choose a new president, members of parliament and councilors.

Two candidates pulled out of the race, saying their aspirations were already met by other contesting candidates.

Among those that have successfully filed are  incumbent Rupiah Banda, Patriotic Front ‘s Michael Sata and United Party for National Development (UPND) Hakainde Hichilema. Others are former finance Ministers Ngandu Magande and Edith Nawakwi.

All have promised issue-based campaigns and  pledged to improve the country’s economy once voted into power.

The enormous number of opposition political parties taking part in this year ‘s tripartite elections will enable the ruling Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) to win, says political analyst Neoi Simutanyi. Simutanyi says the winning party is not expected to win by over 35 per cent because of the overwhelming response in the number of presidential candidates taking part.

Meanwhile nominations of candidates for the 150 parliamentary seats also took place Friday. So far only the ruling party has released names of its candidates publicly while the opposition has remained quiet.

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