Parliamentary Chamber: National Assembly


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  National Assembly

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  27 December 2001

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the elective seats of the National Assembly on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.

Background and outcome of elections:

  On 27 November 2001, President Frederick Chiluba dissolved Parliament to pave the way for elections which were to be held on 27 December 2001

The balloting was the largest ever in Zambia with voters selecting not only a new president, but also all 150 elected members of Parliament and more than 1,100 local government officials. After serving two five-year terms, President Chiluba was expected to retire following the presidential poll in which eleven presidential candidates were vying to replace him, including his designated successor, Vice-President Levy Mwanawasa.

Mr Chiluba's ruling party, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy, pledged during the electoral campaign to pay special attention to agriculture and job creation to boost the declining economy. The main issues raised by opposition parties were Zambia's deepening food shortages, along with mismanagement and corruption.

Some 15 parties took part in the parliamentary and local elections. Only 2.6 million of the country's estimated 3.6 million eligible citizens registered to vote - roughly the same number that had registered in 1996, when the voting population was smaller.

Zambian human rights and church groups challenged the legitimacy of the elections, saying the timing of the poll date would disenfranchise many voters, as it would come at the height of the festive and rainy season. They declared that holding the elections during the rainy season when roads are generally impassable and most rural areas are inaccessible would impact negatively on voter turnout. International observers monitoring the run-up to elections expressed concern that voter apathy and their "disenfranchisement" could affect the democratic process, while European Union officials in Lusaka declared that few were expected to vote due to logistical problems.

Nevertheless, voting was extended in many parts of the country after delays caused partly by a high turnout. In the capital, long queues formed at polling stations even before voting started.

After polling day, the main local monitoring organisation, the Foundation for Democratic Process (Fodep) expressed serious doubts about the conduct of the general elections, as the opposition parties claimed that fraud and ballot rigging had swayed the result that gave a narrow victory to the ruling party's candidate, Mr Mwanawasa.

In the parliamentary elections, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) won 68 seats, while the United Party for National Development (UPND) obtained 48, the United National Independence Party (UNIP) 13 and the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) 12.

On 2 January 2002, Mr Levy Mwanawasa was sworn in as the country's third President at a ceremony presided by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The swearing-in ceremony was boycotted by all opposition parties. Earlier that day the Supreme Court of Zambia had named Mr Mwanawasa as the legal winner of the elections, rejecting an opposition appeal that no winner be named until allegations that the ruling party had rigged the vote had been investigated. Mr Mwanawasa won the presidential election with only 28 percent of the vote, against 27 percent for his nearest rival, opposition candidate Mr Anderson Mazoka.

Round no 1 (27 December 2001): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 2 604 761
Voters 1 785 487 (68.55%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 34 133
Valid votes 1 751 354

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) 490 680 28.02
United Party for National Development (UPND) 419 236 23.94
United National Independence Party (UNIP) 185 625 10.60
Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) 272 817 15.58
Heritage Party (HP) 123 655 7.06
Zambian Republican Party (ZRP) 97 010 5.54
Patriotic Front 49 358 2.82
Independents n.a. n.a.

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) 69
United Party for National Development (UPND) 49
United National Independence Party (UNIP) 13
Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) 12
Heritage Party (HP) 4
Zambian Republican Party (ZRP) 1
Patriotic Front 1
Independents 1

  The figures on the distribution of seats do not include the 8 appointed members.

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 139
Women: 19
Percent of women: 12.03

Distribution of seats according to age:  
21 to 30 years 2
31 to 40 years 20
41 to 50 years 59
51 to 60 years 59
61 to 70 years 17
Over 70 years 1

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Copyright 2001 Inter-Parliamentary Union