2015 Zambian presidential election

Presidential elections were held in Zambia on 20 January 2015 to elect a president to serve the remainder of the term of President Michael Sata, following his death on 28 October 2014.[3]

2015 Zambian presidential election

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5,166,088 registered voters[1]
Simple majority[2] votes needed to win
  Edgar Lungu January 2015.jpg Hakainde Hichilema 2014.jpg
Nominee Edgar Lungu Hakainde Hichilema
Popular vote 807,925 780,168
Percentage 48.84% 47.16%

2015 Zambia Presidential Election Results by Constituency.svg

President before election

Guy Scott (acting)

Elected President

Edgar Lungu

The ruling Patriotic Front candidate Edgar Lungu won by a narrow majority of just 27,757 votes (1.68%) against Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development. Hichilema denounced the elections as a sham and urged his supporters to remain calm.[4][5]


Prior to Sata's death, his ill-health led to political commentators speculating about potential Patriotic Front candidates.[6] 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.[7][8]

The constitution required that elections be held within 90 days of the death of an incumbent president.[9] On 18 November, Scott announced the election date, which also launched the campaigning period.[10]


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.[11]

Patriotic FrontEdit



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.[8] However, although the constitution restricts candidacy to at least third generation Zambians,[19] the Zambian Supreme Court ruled in Lewanika and Others vs. Chiluba that this is not relevant to citizens born before independence in 1964.[20]


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.[21] 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.[citation needed]

Movement for Multi-Party DemocracyEdit

Former President Rupiah Banda

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.[24] 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.[25]

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.[26][27]

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.[28][29] A week later, Banda released a statement in which he thanked his supporters, but told them to respect the Supreme Court's decision.[30] Mumba subsequently expelled Muhabi Lungu and vice secretary Chembe Nyangu from their positions for insubordination.[31]

United Party for National DevelopmentEdit

The UPND's National Management Committee unanimously agreed to field party leader and prior presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema on 14 November 2014.[32] Hichilema also received the support of Charles Milupi and the Alliance for Democracy and Development on 25 November.[33]

Minor party candidatesEdit


Lungu won by a narrow plurality of just 27,757 votes (1.68%). Hichilema denounced the elections as a sham and urged his supporters to remain calm and prepare for the next general elections in 2016.[5]

Edgar LunguPatriotic Front807,92548.84
Hakainde HichilemaUnited Party for National Development780,16847.16
Edith NawakwiForum for Democracy and Development15,3210.93
Nevers MumbaMovement for Multi-Party Democracy14,6090.88
Tilyenji KaundaUnited National Independence Party9,7370.59
Eric ChandaFourth Revolution Party8,0540.49
Elias Chipimo JrNational Restoration Party6,0020.36
Godfrey MiyandaHeritage Party5,7570.35
Daniel PuleChristian Democratic Party3,2930.20
Ludwig SondashiForum for Democratic Alternatives2,0730.13
Peter SinkambaGreen Party of Zambia1,4100.09
Valid votes1,654,34998.96
Invalid/blank votes17,3131.04
Total votes1,671,662100.00
Registered voters/turnout5,166,08432.36
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,[38] as opposed to 5,166,088 previously published in the Certified Register of Voters.[39]


A cross section of the crowd at the inauguration ceremony.

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.[40] Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, congratulated the Zambian people on the successful elections.[40]


  1. ^ "2014 Register of Voters" (PDF). Electoral Commission of Zambia. 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 January 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Constitution of Zambia" (PDF). Article 34 (8). Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 July 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  3. ^ Zambia to hold presidential by-election January 20 Reuters, 18 November 2014
  4. ^ "Zambia opposition cries foul as Lungu wins presidential election". The Daily Telegraph. 24 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  5. ^ a b Hichilema, Hakainde (24 January 2015). "Edgar Lungu steals election". hh-zambia.com. Archived from the original on 27 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  6. ^ a b c "Unease and uncertainty in Zambia over President's erratic behaviour". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  7. ^ "I am Africa's first white democratic leader, says Zambian vice-president". The Daily Telegraph. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  8. ^ a b Plaut, Martin (30 October 2004). "Zambia's new president is white – and we need to get over it". New Statesman. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  9. ^ "Zambia's Scott becomes Africa's first white leader in 20 years". Reuters. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  10. ^ "Zambia: Guy Scott Sets Jan. 20 for Presidential By Election". Zambia Reports. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  11. ^ "MMD to go it alone in 2015 Presidential by-election". QFM Zambia. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  12. ^ "PF begin to receive applications for presidency". Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation. 18 November 2014. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  13. ^ a b Sishuwa Sishuwa. "Zambia: What Next After Another President Dies in Office?". All Africa. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  14. ^ "Nine Candidates Compete for PF Presidential Ticket". Zambia Reports. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  15. ^ "Guy Scott takes interim role after Zambian president Sata's death". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  16. ^ "Miles Sampa files nominations for PF presidency, challenges Edgar Lungu to prove his popularity". Zambian Watchdog. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  17. ^ "Kaseba's Decision to Run Causes Rift in Sata Family". Zambia Reports. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  18. ^ GELOO, ZARINA (26 November 2014). "Sata's son quits race for Zambian presidency". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  19. ^ "Guy Scott's rise to Zambia's presidency". BBC News. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  20. ^ "Another Zambian president dies in office. What happens now?". The Washington Post. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  21. ^ Mwenya, George (2 December 2014). "Miles Sampa Wins Disputed PF General Conference". Zambia Reports. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  22. ^ "Messy struggle for Zambian presidency under way". News 24. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  23. ^ "Zambia: MMD Opens Search for Presidential Candidate As Nevers Declares Readiness". Zambia Reports. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  24. ^ Malambo, Clement (18 November 2014). "Zambia: Nevers Mumba Suspended From MMD – RB Adopted As Candidate". All Africa. Zambia Reports. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  25. ^ "Nevers Mumba suspended". Daily Nation. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  26. ^ "Nevers Mumba loses High Court case, RB to be on MMD ticket". Lusaka Times. 10 December 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  27. ^ "Nevers Mumba Versus Muhabi Lungu Injunction Ruling". Movement for Multi-Party Democracy. 11 December 2014. Archived from the original on 25 December 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  28. ^ "Nevers Mumba is the official MMD Presidential candidate-Supreme Court". Lusaka Times. 18 December 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  29. ^ Funga, Mukosha. "Court confirms Nevers as MMD candidate". The Post. Archived from the original on 25 December 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  30. ^ "Banda retreats from presidential race". News24. SAPA. 24 December 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  31. ^ "Nevers Mumba expells [sic] Muhabi Lungu and his vice Chembe Nyangu". Lusaka Times. 19 December 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  32. ^ "UPND adopts Hakainde Hichilema for the 2015 Zambian presidential by election". Mwebantu New Media. Archived from the original on 4 December 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  33. ^ Chanda, Davies M.M. "ADD RALLIES BEHIND UPND". Times of Zambia. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  34. ^ "No alliance, I'm contesting – Tilyenji Kaunda". Zambian Eye. 24 November 2014. Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  35. ^ News Desk. "Gen. Miyanda launches his campaigns in Mongu". Zambian Eye. Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  36. ^ Lumba, Hildah. "Race To State House". Times of Zambia. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  37. ^ Chazingwa, Moffat; Shabongo, Nakubiana; Zulu, Delphine. "Nevers, HH, Sinkamba Eye Top Job". Zambian Times. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  38. ^ "2015 Presidential Election results". elections.org.zm. Electoral Commission of Zambia. 24 January 2015. Archived from the original on 23 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  39. ^ "Certified Register of Voters as at 2014". elections.org.zm. Electoral Commission of Zambia. 30 November 2014. Archived from the original on 21 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  40. ^ a b "Zambia's New President, Edgar Lungu, Is Sworn In". The New York Times. 25 January 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2015.

External linksEdit