Nine candidates are vying to be the next president of Zambia in the election which is deemed a two-man affair.
The 59-year-old incumbent president and former lawyer Edgar Lungu was elected president in the January 20, 2015 by-election as the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) candidate to finish the term of late President Michael Sata who died on October 28, 2014.
He beat his main contender, 54-year-old businessman Hakainde Hichilema of the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) by a narrow majority of 27, 757 votes (1.66%).
The two are the main candidates in the 2016 election which will go for run-off if none wins more than 50% of the vote.
The rivalry between the two candidates has culminated in fierce battle between their supporters creating tensions during the campaigning period.
Zambia’s electoral commission had to suspend campaigns in the capital and other districts for 10 days due to violence between supporters of the two major parties.
“I wish to remind the PF and UPND in particular that the world’s eyes are on Zambia and I do not think that either of you will want to go on record as having being the two political parties who contributed to permanently denting Zambia’s record of peaceful elections,” Chairperson of the electoral commission, Justice Esau Chulu advised on Tuesday, a day before the end of campaigning.
Incumbent president Lungu has however pledged to accept the results of the election. “I promise to respect the results and I will not fight even one day, to remain in State House. But I will not allow somebody to come to State House (through) violence or intimidation,” he said at his last campaign.
Below are the candidates for the 2016 Presidential Election in no particular order starting with the only woman in the race.