Zambia Releases New Constitution And Announces General Elections In August 2016

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The Zambian government has recently released the Act No. 2 of 2016 to amend the constitution of Zambia of 2015, which establishes that the country shall hold general elections on the second Thursday of August every five years and sets the country to come back to the polls on August 11th, 2016.

The release ceremony took place on January 5th, 2016, in Lusaka where President Edgar Lungu assented the Constitutional Bill which established the guidelines of economic policies’ establishment, electoral processes and establishment of powers at the government, as well as a Dual Citizenship law that enable Zambians to get another citizenship without losing their current one.

In addition, a substantial reduction on electricity tariffs was also announced after they were more than doubled by Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) in December, 2015.

Regarding electricity tariffs, they were decided to be reversed after the hike hurt mostly the poorest part of the country’s population, Presidential spokesman Amos Chanda explained.

On the other hand, the general elections’ fixed date for August goes into immediate effect with President Lungu’s assent of the Constitutional Bill, Mr. Chanda added.

Among other amendments to the constitution of 2015, this year the presidential candidate will need to get more than 50% of the votes, he stressed.

The amendment seeks to avoid close elections results as those got in January, 2015, when then Minister of Defense and Justice Edgar Lungu from the Patriotic Front (PF) won the Presidential race against his rival from the United Party for National Development (UPND), Mr. Hakainde Hichilema with 46.7% of the votes.

An election that was called after the death of Zambia’s former President Michael Sata in October, 2014, who was temporary replaced by Mr. Guy Scott.