The recent win of the opposition party in Zambia serves as a prime example of democratic and peaceful elections for other African countries to follow should they wish to move away from authoritarianism.
This year’s election is Zambia’s third time in history that the power changed hand peacefully and democratically. The country follows in Malawi’s footstep in its quest for democracy. Three key lessons can be learned from these elections opposing Hakainde Hichilema from the United Party for National Development (UPND) and President Edgar Lungu from the Patriotic Front (PF).
First of all, the opposition was more coherent than ever, joining forces against the governing PF. Secondly, UPND’s leader expanded his support base by focusing on unemployment and rallying the younger generation on social media, speaking their language. And last but not least, the UPND protected the vote. Agents were deployed in almost all of the 12,152 polling stations, making it difficult for anyone to manipulate the voting process.