Zambia finalizes list of presidential contenders

Zambia finalizes list of presidential contenders

Six candidates -- including current president Edgar Lungu -- will contest Aug. 11 election

By Francis Maingaila

LUSAKA, Zambia (AA) – The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) on Friday certified six presidential candidates to contest the country’s Aug. 11 election.

ECZ chairman Justice Esau Chulu told journalists in Lusaka that four candidates were disqualified after they failed to meet nomination requirements.

“The unsuccessful candidates either failed to pay the required nomination fee or failed to raise 100 supporters for each one of the 10 provinces of Zambia.

“Some were disqualified after they failed to field a presidential candidate or the president had no running mate as required by the new electoral laws,” Justice Chulu said.

Among the successful candidates are the incumbent, President Edgar Lungu of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and his main rival Hakainde Hichilema of the opposition United Party for National Development.

Ten political parties had initially indicated that they will take part in the coming election after they paid 50 percent of the required nomination fee. However, when the nomination period came, some parties failed to meet the requirements and were automatically disqualified.

Former ruling party, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), which lost power to the PF in 2011, failed to field a presidential candidate following infighting that engulfed the group.

Over six million Zambians are scheduled to cast their votes on Aug. 11 to choose a new set of leaders, including president, MPs, mayors, council chairpersons and local government representatives.

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