Zambia's president is re-elected


protests continue 2nd day

October 03, 2006|By Los Angeles Times

LUSAKA, Zambia -- Opposition leaders cried foul, and anti-government protesters rioted for a second day yesterday, as Zambia's president won five more years in power.

After a hard-fought campaign among five candidates, President Levy Mwanawasa, head of the long-ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy, was re-elected with 43 percent of the vote.

His main rival, Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front, received 29.3 percent.

Under Zambia's system, the top vote-getter wins outright, even without polling more than half the ballots.

Sata said the election was stolen. Several other opposition parties complained of irregularities in Thursday's balloting and called for the results to be verified.

Soldiers were deployed yesterday in parts of Lusaka, and police clashed with opposition supporters for a second day. Dozens were arrested in two days of rioting.

Parliamentary results released yesterday showed Mwanawasa's party, which has ruled Zambia for 15 years, won 70 of 150 seats, followed by the Patriotic Front, with 36 seats.

Hakainda Hichilema of the United Democratic Alliance, who came in third with 25 percent, also complained to the electoral commission of irregularities.

Sata and some other candidates suggested there was no point in taking a complaint to the courts, where past electoral challenges have failed.

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