Election Results: Sata wins for President!

September 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

President Michael Sata - Via Lusaka Times

It’s been an interesting week we experienced election day/week in Zambia. It was a bit reminiscent of Y2K as people panicked in fear of what could happen and bought extra food, water, and airtime. On Tuesday, the whole country shut down so that people could go to the polling stations where they registered and vote (for some, it was many kilometers away from where they are currently living and took hours to go by minibus taxi to get there). Wednesday was filled with more waiting and many people worked from home or didn’t work at all. Thursday, people were starting to get anxious for the results of the election. We went to the grocery store and you could tell the city was buzzing. We stocked up with supplies as well. I packed a “go bag” in case we needed to make a quick escape out of our home. Ben however made fun of me saying that I was being a bit over dramatic which, in hindsight, is probably true. However, if we were holed up in only God knows where, I would have had my tooth-brush and extra underwear!

 

The electoral committee hand counted each of the 5 million ballots. Supposedly, the process involved one person showing the ballot to multiple other people to prevent voter fraud. The committee kept pushing back the “48 hour” deadline for announcing the election and finally at 12:45am early Friday morning a winner was announced and Michael Sata with the PF party became the new president of Zambia. The Menenberg’s were already fast asleep but we awoke to much celebrating as people honked, hooted, and hollered. The nation celebrated for the next few days as they realized that their democracy worked and President Sata assumed power. Driving down the road, people raised their fists (one of the party signs) and honked their cars while proudly displaying their Sata campaign posters. My friend Sarah encapsulates more of the election politics HERE.

 

It’s been a long week as the nation almost completely shut down during elections. We’re thankful that there have not been any riots to speak of and that little to no violence has happened.

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