From 1991, when the one-party state was
abolished and multi-party systems were reintroduced, and
two decades ahead, Zambia was ruled by the Social
Democratic Party Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD).
The 2011 election led to a historic shift in power when
the opposition party Patriotic Front (PF) won both the
presidential and parliamentary elections. PF retained
power in the 2016 elections.
The PF won the 2011 elections with lots of promises
to the electorate but for many Zambians, PF leader
Michael Sata's time as president was a disappointment.
Sata came to spend most of his time harassing political
opponents and journalists who examined power. In
addition, the government backed away from several of its
Country facts and history of Zambia, including state flag, location map, demographics, GDP data, currency code, and business statistics.
When Sata passed away in October 2014, a filling
election for the presidential post was announced until
January 2015. Winning became PF's candidate Edgar Lungu,
who had previously been Minister of Defense and Minister
of Justice of the Sata government. Lungu defeated
Hakainde Hichilema from the Liberal United National
Development Party (UPND). However, the margin of victory
was extremely scarce and turnout was unusually low. Only
one-third of eligible Zambians went to the polls.
President Lungu's entry coincided with the price of
copper, which accounts for about 70 percent of Zambia's
export revenue, falling to the lowest level in over five
years. At the same time, the so-called royalty fees for
foreign mining companies were greatly increased; the fee
for operations in open pit mining was threefold. The
mining companies warned that thousands of jobs were at
stake because profitability was already under pressure.
The credit institutions International Monetary Fund (IMF)
and the World Bank emphasized the importance of clear
rules for the mining industry in order not to frighten
investors. After a review, royalties were lowered, but
the inequality between the government and mining
companies has persisted. President Lungu has accused the
companies of not paying taxes and threatened to throw
them out of the country.
President Lungu re-elected
The crisis in the mining industry was fueled by
extensive drought, which was expected to disadvantage
the government in the general elections held on August
11, 2016. The Zambians would then vote in several
elections: presidential elections, parliamentary
elections, mayoral elections, local elections and voting
yes or no to an addition to the constitution. The main
candidates in the presidential election were Lungu and
Hichilema. Lungu was mainly supported in the capital, in
his home province in the east and in the so-called
copper belt in the north, while Hichilema's followers
were found in the south and among younger voters.
After three days of voting, the Election Commission
declared that Lungu had won by a marginal margin, a
message that left Hichilema's camp on the war path. An
appeal was rejected by the newly established
Constitutional Court, but Hichilema and his party
continued to contest the result. In the summer of 2017,
when Hichilema was arrested for the second time (see
Calendar), tensions in the country increased. A wave of
fires broke out and emergency laws were introduced. The
situation became calmer after Hichilema was released
from prosecution and released at the end of the summer,
but President Lungu has been accused of taking an
increasingly authoritarian stance towards his political
enemies and other government critics have been left
Corruption is a major societal problem. Activists who
monitor the phenomenon accuse government members of
funding a life of luxury with state funds. Some
ministers are said to own up to 40 houses, while most
Zambians live in poverty.
Two former presidents - Frederick Chiluba and Rupiah
Banda - as well as ministers, civil servants and
officers have been drawn into lengthy court cases for
suspected corruption. Some of the accused have been
convicted, but the legal proceedings against Chiluba and
Banda ended in their release.
The problems have persisted during Lungu's tenure. In
early 2017, Foreign Minister Harry Kalaba resigned in
protest against the corruption within the government,
and in 2018 the UK and several other major donor
countries withdrew their assistance to Zambia with
reference to the widespread corruption (see also
Democracy and Rights).
Separatism pyr to the west
In the country's poorest Western province, several
groups are fighting for either full independence or for
the Lozi people's kingdom of Barotseland to be restored
and regain their self-government. The Kingdom became a
British protectorate in 1890, which was incorporated
into Zambia in 1964. An agreement on autonomy for
Barotseland was canceled in 1969 by President Kaunda.
Over the years, many separatists have been brought to
justice and in a protest action in 2011 several
protesters were killed by police. Upon his entry,
President Lungu promised to do something about the
dissatisfaction in Western. The fact that Lungu
appointed Inonge Wina from the lozie people to vice
president was partly seen as a conciliatory gesture, but
since then nothing has really happened.
Lungu is allowed to run in 2021
At the end of 2018, President Lungu won an important
victory when the Constitutional Court ruled that he has
the right to stand for re-election in the 202
presidential election. than two terms of office.
However, the Constitutional Court found that the 18
months that Lungu was president until the 2016 election
could not be counted as a full term.
Since then, President Lungu has come to understand
that the government intends to push through a number of
constitutional amendments that strengthen the
president's powers (see Calendar).
Follow the ongoing development of the Calendar.
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Zambia may pay dearly for Chinese investment
FACTS - POLITICS
Republic of Zambia / Republic of Zambia
republic, unitary state
Head of State and Government
Edgar Lungu (2015–)
Most important parties with mandates in the
Patriotic Front (PF) 80, United National Development
Party (UPND) 58, Multi-Party Democracy Movement (MMD) 3,
Democracy and Development Forum (FDD) 1, Independent
Candidates 14 (2016)
Main parties with mandates in the second most
Patriotic Front (PF) 60, Multi-Party Democracy
Movement (MMD) 55, United National Development Party (UPND)
28, Democracy and Development Forum (FDD) 1, Independent
Candidates 3, Others 3 (2011)
56% in the presidential and parliamentary elections
in August 2016, 32% in the presidential elections in
presidential and parliamentary elections 2021
Extreme drought results in famine
The MMD government appeals for emergency aid when one million people are
threatened by famine due to drought.
Zambia's national debt is reduced
Half of Zambia's foreign debt is written off using a debt relief package from
the World Bank.
February 2005 Public Policy
The election result is determined despite criticism
The Supreme Court ruled that the 2001 elections had some democratic
shortcomings, but the court rejects the opposition's demand that the election be