September 19, 2021

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The country has been a "democratic guiding star" in Africa.  Now the president is deploying the army before the elections.

The country has been a “democratic guiding star” in Africa. Now the president is deploying the army before the elections.

Thursday’s elections will be a test of how strong democracy is in the country. Here, the president’s supporters are campaigning.

Few observers expect Zambia’s elections to be fair. Many people fear what will happen next.

Ahead of Thursday’s election, President Edgar Longo arrested political opponents and shut down opposition media. Lungu deployed soldiers to maintain order. The immediate cause was the murder of two of his colleagues in his party at the hands of political opponents. Several counties reported a lot of violence in campaign events.

The US Embassy in Lusaka announced that it is following closely. David Young at the embassy says Zambia reports The United States is prepared to impose financial sanctions on individuals.

Zambia is nearing a “human rights crisis,” according to Human Rights Watch. A month ago it ended AI immediately.

“Textbook on electoral fraud”

Many media who follow the elections closely believe that this year’s elections are the most important since 1991. Kenneth Kaunda was then forced to relinquish power after ruling the country since 1964.

Since then, Zambia’s democracy has performed better than in many neighboring countries. Presidents lost the elections and handed power to the winner. Now fear is growing that Lungu is leading the country in the wrong direction.

Many scholars believe that this year’s elections will show whether democracy is still in place, or whether democracy has been derailed under Longo’s leadership.

the magazine The Economist He writes that the ruling party “must have read a textbook on election fraud.” The main opposition candidate, Hakainde Hechilema, was banned from organizing events during the election campaign. The government’s interpretation is infection control considerations. The same rules do not apply to the president.

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Edgar Longo became president in 2015, and is now fighting for re-election.
Hakainde Hichilema narrowly lost to Lungu in 2015, after which he was charged with treason and imprisonment.

deep economic crisis

Hakainde Hichilema has a background as a business manager. He claims that this knowledge is absolutely necessary for the country in the coming years. Zambia is facing a deep economic crisis.

Zambia’s external debt has risen sharply in recent years and now stands at $12 billion. It represents 120 percent of the country’s national product.

Last year, the state failed to repay a $3 billion loan. to me Reuters Between 30 and 40 percent of central government revenue is used for debt servicing.

Longo has long raged against the International Monetary Fund, which is demanding economic reforms in the country. Without an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, it may be difficult for Zambia to service the debt.

Although corruption is a growing problem, a lot of money borrowed has benefited most people. During the election campaign, Lungu constantly reminds of all the new roads, health stations and airports. news agency Bloomberg He writes that this “success story” could be the president’s biggest problem in an election.

The Zambian youth in particular have experienced that the government debt becomes too much of a burden to bear. Mismanagement led to inflation of 25 per cent. At the same time, the value of the currency decreases. Last year, national output fell for the first time since 1998.

At the same time, the country is the second largest exporter of copper in Africa. 70 percent of export earnings come from mines. According to Bloomberg, many international mining companies are reluctant to continue investing in Zambia. They fear Longo’s unstable politics.

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Hichilema claims that his business background makes him understand the problems. He will negotiate a new agreement with the International Monetary Fund and pursue a more business-friendly policy.