Zambians’ support for democracy, clean elections set stage for third transfer of power

Democracy

Zambia’s third transfer of presidential power via elections occurred against a backdrop of overwhelming popular support for democracy, clean elections, and multiparty competition, an analysis of recent Afrobarometer findings shows.

A survey in late 2020 found that even though a majority of Zambians are not satisfied with the way their democracy is working, most reject authoritarian alternatives to democracy and say the country should choose leaders through regular, open, and honest elections.

A majority of respondents also say the country needs many political parties to make sure that citizens have real choices in who governs them.

Zambia joined a small group of African countries to experience three transfers of power via elections when last week’s general election, the country’s seventh since the reintroduction of multiparty democracy in 1991, resulted in a clear victory for the opposition United Party for National Development. Sixteen political parties participated in the election.

According to the Christian Churches Monitoring Group, while specific processes require improvement, the Electoral Commission of Zambia delivered an election that reflects the will of the people.