A Flash of Democracy – Elections in Zambia

By Jody Harris

More than one long-serving African government lost power this autumn. But while the eyes of the world were on the brutal end of the Gadhafi regime in Libya, an altogether more democratic transition was taking place in Zambia, as Rupiah Banda’s Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), in place for 20 years under 3 presidents, acknowledged its inferior share of the popular vote and gave way peacefully to the Patriotic Front (PF) under new President Michael Sata.

As the dust settles on the new government, and the rains begin with startlingly ferocious thunderstorms in this country reliant almost entirely on rain-fed agriculture, there is now an air of expectation for the future. The World Bank recently re-classified Zambia as a middle-income country, and increased wealth here is evidenced by burgeoning traffic and shiny new shopping malls in the cities- though life in the rural areas has changed little for a very long time.

Celebrations Following Sata's Election