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Vol 37 No 24

Published 29th November 1996


Zambia

No confidence

A dubious win, summary arrests, an empty treasury – Chiluba's second term begins

As soon as the elections were over, police went into the offices of Zambia's own election monitors, the leaders of the party that came second went into hiding and the President placed the security forces on alert. Frederick Chiluba's re-election belies the name of his Movement for Multi-Party Democracy. He arranged a one-party triumph by refusing (despite pleas from President Nelson Mandela and ex-President Jimmy Carter) to allow his main opponent, ex-President Kenneth Kaunda, to stand against him. Kaunda's United National Independence Party therefore asked its supporters to boycott the poll. In any case, fewer than half of those eligible were on the electoral roll and fewer than half those registered bothered to vote. Only Chiluba's keenest supporters tried to pretend that the official result reflected the people's choice.

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