ABSTRACT

Zambia: 2021 Elections and New Government [December 21, 2021]   [open pdf - 560KB]

From the Document: "In Zambia's August 2021 general elections, longtime opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema won the presidential race with 59% of votes--after five prior unsuccessful runs. In concurrent National Assembly elections, his United Party for National Development (UPND) party won a majority; it holds 56% of 165 seats, including appointed ones. U.S. post-poll statements, including from Members of Congress, lauded the electoral process and the 'peaceful transfer of power' to Hichilema by then-President Edgar Lungu of the Patriotic Front (PF) party. Secretary of State Antony Blinken later called 'Zambia's unshakeable commitment to democratic ideals ... an inspiration to all who seek the freedom, prosperity, and justice.' He attributed the elections' success, in part, to the participation of 'a record number of young and first-time voters.' (Voter turnout, at 69%, was the highest since 2006.) Opposition activists elsewhere in Africa hailed the outcome as demonstrating that years of dogged opposition activism can result in the democratic ouster of powerful incumbent regimes. Hichilema has pledged to reverse negative human rights and civil liberties trends under Lungu, such as arbitrary detentions of opposition leaders and civil society activists, police repression of peaceful protests and opposition events, and forced closures or suspensions of some media outlets. U.S. officials have welcomed Hichilema's governance agenda and announced development aid in support of it."

Report Number:
CRS In Focus, IF12005
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2021-12-21
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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