Election fever has hit Zambia after President Edgar Lungu signed the new Constitution Bill with significant changes to how Presidents will be elected in the country. The Electoral Commission of Zambia had already announced that voter registration for the 2016 Zambian General elections was open and the talk of the upcoming election is on everyone’s lips.
Zambians will have the chance to elect their President and National Assembly on 11 August 2016. The new constitutional amendments require that the winner of the presidential race will need to have more than 50 percent of the vote unlike previously where the winner of the race was declared on a first-past-the-post basis. The new rules also require a lawmaker to have at least a Grade 12 certificate in order to be eligible for office.
The previous general elections in 2011 resulted in a victory for the Patriotic Front (PF), whose candidate Michael Sata was elected President, with the PF winning 61 of the 150 seats in the National Assembly. The incumbent President took over after Sata died while still in office.
The campaigns around the 2016 election will mainly be focused on Zambia’s ailing economy with mainly Edgar Lungu leading the Patriotic Front Party (PF) going against the opposition United Party for National Development, led by Hakainde Hichilema.