Democracy in Zambia

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Democracy Ratings

Freedom House 2018


4 out of 7

(where lower scores are more democratic)

Freedom Status:

Partly Free

EIU Democracy Index 2017


5.68 out of 10

(where higher scores are more democratic)

World Ranking:


Polity IV 2016



(from -10 to 10, where higher scores are more democratic)



Political System

System of Government Presidential
Presidential Electoral System First past the post

(2016 is likely to run through a two-round system)

Last Presidential Election 2016
Next Presidential Election 2021
Presidential Term Limits Two, five-year terms
System of Appointment to Legislature 150 in single-member constituencies through first past the post system

8 appointed by the president

1 speaker elected from outside the house

Last Legislative Election


Next Legislative Election


Number of Seats in Legislature 159
Female quota, representation in lower house No


Last presidential election (2016)
Candidate (Party) Votes (%)
1st round 2nd round not needed
Edgar Lungu 50.35
Hakainde Hichilema 47.63
Edith Nawakwi 0.65
Andyford Banda 0.43
Wynter Kabimba 0.26
Saviour Chishimba 0.25
Tilyenji Kaunda 0.24
Peter Sinkamba 0.12
Maxwell Mwamba 0.06


Last legislative election (2016)    
Party Votes (%) Seats
Patriotic Front 42.01 80
United Party for National Development 41.66 58
Movement for Multi-Party Democracy 2.71 3
Forum for Democracy and Development 2.17 1
Rainbow Party 0.95 0
National Restoration Party 0.3 0
Alliance for Democracy and Development 0.23 0
United Democratic Front 0.21 0
United National Independence Party 0.2 0
Golden Progressive Party 0.04 0
Radical Revolutionary Party 0.02 0
Green Party of Zambia 0.01 0
United Progressive People 0.01 0
Independents 9.48 14

 Zambia on DiA

#BookClub: The Crisis of Democracy in Zambia

21 June 2020

Banda Hinfelaar Kaaba & Ndulo

#BookClub: Religion and Politics in Africa

7 June 2020

Rachel Riedl and Gwyneth McClendon

Is Africa becoming more democratic?

26 May 2017

Nic Cheeseman

President Lungu: the reluctant democrat

12 March 2016

Nic Cheeseman

An executive death threat

27 September 2015

Michaela Collord

President Lungu health worries

13 March 2015

Nic Cheeseman

Why is it so difficult to predict a winner in Zambia?

21 January 2015

Catherine Boone and Michael Wahman

Chalwe Charles Mwansa on LGBT activism in Zambia

10 November 2014

Democracy in Africa