Zambia Polls To Go Ahead Unless State of Emergency Declared

General elections will be held in Zambia on August 12, 2021 to elect the president and national assembly. A total of sixteen candidates registered to run for the top job but it is expected to be a close race between Edgar Lungu of the ruling Patriotic Front and Hakainde Hichilema of the opposition United Party for National Development.

In June 2021, Zambia's electoral body suspended campaign rallies, as daily new confirmed Covid-19 cases surged in the country. Political parties should use alternative methods of campaigning that avoid crowds. "The election will go ahead as planned unless a state of emergency is declared," Chief Electoral Officer Kryticous Nshindano said. Meanwhile, Hichilema's party has accused Lungu of using the pandemic to effectively block it from campaigning.

As of July 20, 2021 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Zambia reached 186,279 while over 65,528 people have been fully vaccinated. Reported deaths reached 3,113 and 173,320 people have recovered.

InFocus

Zambian President Edgar Lungu (file photo).

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