Should some political parties stop contesting elections ?

Should some political parties stop contesting elections ?

By Simon Kabanda

YES! Some political parties should just stop contesting in presidential elections because they are a waste of time and a waste of resources, and they do not add value to the presidential elections. They just escort other political parties.

YES! Some presidential hopefuls should just stop contesting in presidential elections because they are a waste of time and a waste of resources, and they do not add value to the presidential elections. They just escort other presidential candidates.

Which are those political parties that should stop contesting in the presidential elections?

I invite you to analyse with me the performance of political parties and presidential elections from the 1991 elections to the last one, which took place on 12 August 2021.

12 AUGUST 2021 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULTS:
1. Hakainde Hichilema, United Party for National Development (UPND): 2,852,348 votes (59.02%);
2. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, Patriotic Front: (1,870,780) votes (38.71%)
3. Harry Kalaba, Democratic Party (DP): 25,231 votes (0.52%);
4. Andyford Banda, People’s Alliance for Change (PAC): 19,937 votes (0.41%);
5. Fred M’membe of the Socialist Party (SP): 16,644 votes (0.34%);
6. Highvie Hamududu, Party for National Unity and Progress (PNUP): 10,480 (0.22%);
7. Chishala Kateka, New Heritage Party (NHP): 8,169 votes (0.17%);
8. Charles Chanda, United Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia (UPPZ): 6,543 votes (0.14%);
9. Lazarous Chisela, Zambians United for Sustainable Development (ZUSD): 5,253 votes (0.11%);
10. Nevers Mumba, Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD): 4,968 votes (0.10%);
11. Enock Tonga, Third Liberation Movement (3rdLM): 3,112 votes (0.06%);
12. Bishop Trevor Mwamba, United National Independence Party (UNIP): 3,036 votes (0.06%);
13. Sean Tembo, Patriots for Economic Progress (PEP): 1,813 votes (0.04%);
14. Stephen Nyirenda, National Restoration Party (NAREP): 1,808 votes (0.04%);
15. Kasonde Mwenda, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF): 1,345 votes (0.03%); and
16. Richard Silumbe, Leadership Movement (LM): 1,296 votes (0.03%)
TOTAL VALID VOTES: 4,832,763
INVALID VOTES: 126,569

11 AUGUST 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULTS:
1. Edgar C. Lungu (PF): 1,860,877 (50.35%);
2. Hakainde Hichilema (UPND): 1,760347, (47.63%);
3. Edith Nawakwi (Forum for Democracy and Development – FDD): 24,149 (0.65%);
4. Andyford Banda (People’s Alliance for Change – PAC): 15,791 (0.43%);
5. Winter Kabimba (Rainbow Party): 9,504 (0.26%);
6. Saviour Chishimba (United Progressive People – UPP): 9,221 (0.25%);
7. Tilyenji Kaunda (UNIP): 8,928 (0.24%);
8. Peter Sinkamba (Green Party): 4,515 (0.12%); and
9. Maxwell Mwamba (Democratic Assembly – DA): 2,378 (0.06%).
TOTAL VALID VOTES: 3,695,710
INVALID VOTES: 85,795

20 JANUARY 2015 PRESIDENTIAL BY-ELECTION RESULTS:
1. Edgar C. Lungu (PF): 807,925 (48.84%);
2. Hakainde Hichilema (UPND): 780,168 (47.16%);
3. Edith Nawakwi (FDD): 15,321 (0.93%);
4. Nevers S. Mumba (MMD): 14,609 (0.88%);
5. Tilyenji Kaunda (UNIP): 9,737 (0.59%);
6. Eric M. Chanda (4th Revolution Party – 4R): 8,054 (0.49%);
7. Elias C. Chipimo Jr. (Narep): 6,002 (0.36%);
8. Brig. Gen. Miyanda (HP): 5,757 (0.35%);
9. Daniel M. Pule (Citizens Democratic Party – CDP): 3,293 (0.20%);
10. Ludwig Sondashi (Forum for Democratic Alternatives – FDA): 2,073 (0.13%); and
11. Peter Sinkamba (Green Party Zambia – Greens): 1,410 (0.09%).
TOTAL VALID VOTES: 1,654,349
INVALID VOTES: 17,313

20 SEPTEMBER 2011 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULTS:
1. Michael Sata (PF): 1,170,966 (42.85%);
2. Rupiah Banda (MMD): 987,866 (36.15%);
3. Hakainde Hichilema (UPND): 506,763 (18.54%);
4. Charles Milupi (ADD): 26,270 (0.96%);
5. Elias Chipimo Jr. (Narep): 10,672 (0.39%);
6. Tilyenji Kaunda (UNIP): 9,950 (0.36%);
7. Edith Nawakwi (FDD): 6,833 (0.25%);
8. Ng’andu Peter Magande (NMP): 6.344 (0.23%);
9. Brig. Gen. Miyanda (HP): 4,730 (0.17%); and
10. Frederick Mutesa (ZED): 2,268 (0.08%).
TOTAL VALID VOTES: 2,732,662
INVALID VOTES: 39,602

30 OCTOBER 2008 PRESIDENTIAL BY- ELECTION RESULTS:
1. Rupiah Banda (MMD): 718,359 (40.63%);
2. Michael Sata (PF): 683,150 (38.64%);
3. Hakainde Hichilema (UPND): 353,018 (19.96%); and
4. Brig. Gen. Godfrey Miyanda (HP): 13,683 (0.77%).
TOTAL VALID VOTES: 1,768,210
INVALID VOTES: 23,596

28 SEPTEMBER 2006 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULTS:
1. Levy Mwanawasa (MMD): 1,177,846 votes (42.98%);
2. Michael Sata (PF): 804,748 (29.37%);
3. Hakainde Hichilema (UDA: UPND, FDD, UNIP Alliance): 693,772 (25.32%);
4. Brig. Gen. Godfrey Miyanda (Heritage Party – HP): 42,891 (1.57%); and
5. Winright Ken Ng’ondo (All People’s Congress – APC): 20,921 (0.76%).
TOTAL VALID VOTES: 2,740,178
INVALID VOTES: 48,396

27 DECEMBER 2001 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULTS:
1. Levy Mwanawasa (MMD): 506,694 votes (29.15%);
2. Anderson Mazoka (UPND): 472,697 (27.20%);
3. Lt. Gen. Christon Tembo (FDD): 228,861 (13.17%);
4. Tilyenji Kaunda (UNIP): 175,898 (10.12%);
5. Brig. Gen. Godfrey Miyanda (HP): 140,678 (8.09%);
6. Benjamin Mwila (Zambia Republican Party – ZRP): 85,472 (4.92%);
7. Michael Sata (Patriotic Front – PF): 59,172 (3.40%);
8. Dr. Nevers Mumba (National Citizens Coalition – NCC): 38,860 (2.24%);
9. Gwendoline Konie (Social Democratic Party – SDP): 10,253 (0.59%);
10. Inonge-Mbikusita Lewanika (Agenda for Zambia – AZ): 9,882 (0.57%); and
11. Dr. Yobert Shamapande (National Leadership for Development – NLD): 9,481 (0.55%).
TOTAL VALID VOTES: 1,766,356
INVALID VOTES: 28,408

18 NOVEMBER 1996 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULTS:
1. Frederick J.T. Chiluba (MMD): 913,770 votes (72.59%);
2. Dean N. Mung’omba (Zambia Democratic Congress – ZDC): 160,439 votes (12.75%);
3. Humphrey Mulemba (National Party – NP): 83,875 votes (6.66%);
4. Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lwanika (AZ): 59,250 votes (4.71%); and
5. Chama M. Chakomboka (Movement for Democratic Process – MDP): 41,471 votes (3.29).
TOTAL VALID VOTES: 1,258,805
INVALID VOTES: 66,248

31 OCTOBER 1991 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULTS:
1. Frederick J.T. Chiluba (MMD): 972,212 votes (75.76%)
2. Kenneth Kaunda (UNIP): 311,022 votes (24.24%)
TOTAL VALID VOTES: 1,283,234
INVALID VOTES: 41,531

With this trend in the presidential election results since 1991, when Zambia reverted to a multiparty system of governance, some political parties and some presidential hopefuls should just be realistic and stop contesting in the presidential elections.

UNITED NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE PARTY (UNIP)

After losing to the MMD in 1991, getting only 24.24% of the valid votes cast, UNIP boycotted the 1996 presidential and general elections due to a retrogressive amendment to the Constitution. However, after resurfacing in 2001, UNIP got 10.12% in the presidential election. In the 2011 presidential election, UNIP got 0.36% of the valid votes, but gained a bit of momentum in the 2015 by-election, getting 0.59% of the valid votes. With 0.24% in the 2016 presidential election and 0.06% in the 2021 presidential election, UNIP should bid farewell to contesting in the presidential elections.

MOVEMENT FOR MULTIPARTY DEMOCRACY (MMD)

After losing the power of governing to the PF in 2011, with 36.15% of the valid votes, the MMD got a paltry 0.88% of the valid votes in the 2015 presidential by-election, and did not contest in the 2016 presidential election. With only 0.10% of the valid votes, in the just ended 2021 presidential election, the MMD should simply say “goodbye” to contesting in the presidential elections.

THE FATE OF FORMER RULING PARTIES

Since independence in 1964, the country now has three (3) FORMER ruling parties. These are UNIP, MMD and the PF. While UNIP stayed in office for twenty-seven (27) years, the MMD ruled the country for twenty (20) years, while the PF was in office for only ten (10) years.

Stating that “UNIP and the MMD are now on the verge of EXTINCTION” is not far from the truth. Their performance in the elections attest to this ASSUMPTION. The two political parties are now existing only in NAME and not in SUBSTANCE.

The latest FORMER ruling party, the PF, should watch out for this trend. If the PF does not learn lessons from UNIP and the MMD, they may follow suit and become extinct in the next few years.

(If you have any socio-political question that you would like to be discussed on this column, kindly send a message to me either through sms, WhatsApp or email).

SIMON KALOLO KABANDA

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