December 20, 2001

Kaunda opposes ruling party presidential candidate (December 20, 2001)

Kenneth Kaunda, independent Zambia's first leader who preceded outgoing President Frederick Chiluba, urged Zambians not to vote for the ruling party candidate in presidential elections next week. "If Levy Mwanawasa wins, it will be a catastrophe for Zambia. The man can't make any independent decision," Kaunda claimed. He said he would campaign against Mwanawasa, who is standing for the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), and back three other candidates including his son Tilyengi in the election on December, 27.

The former leader is a respected figure in the country, and his comments could sway some voters. Kaunda urged Zambians to back his son, leader of the United National Independence Party (UNIP), as well as Anderson Mazoka of the United Party for National Development (UPND) and Nevers Mumba of the National Citizens Coalition (NCC). He claimed that the other eight candidates were not capable of running Zambia. Kaunda said his three favourites should come together to form a coalition government after the presidential and parliamentary elections, which will pave the way for Chiluba's retirement after a decade in power. UNIP was Zambia's sole ruling party under Kaunda. (THE NAMIBIAN)

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