This is a quote from "Hillel the Elder" from the first century. (I thought I was so original!)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Zambian Elections 2015

Ever since President Sata died at the end of October, the politicians have been maneuvering to gain some sort of advantage.  First it was within each party, who would be their candidate?  Then they had to decide quickly to get their candidate qualified to be on the ballot.

 Eleven candidates made the ballot.
Now they needed money for their campaigns and it wasn't a secret that several of them went out of the country to collect money so they could get the word out.

Each night on the news there are warnings about not allowing violence, but there seems to be an undercurrent of strong rivalries,  and videos of hurt people.
It really doesn't seem dangerous but we are advised to avoid politics and big groups.  
You wouldn't want to be in the middle of some strong opinions.

The photos above are of groups of people who parade around at random just yelling about voting for their candidate and passing out flyers.  Sometimes they light bonfires in the middle of the street.

I watched the debates they had on TV.  The leading candidate chose not to participate.
Below is one the leading contenders.  His name is a bit difficult to pronounce so they call him H.H.

There was almost no graffiti here but now it is showing up in many places.

The graffiti below is for the leading contender and from the current party in government.

His name is Edgar Lungu.
Lusaka seems to be in favour of his election but most of the country is rural so it will be interesting.
There are 14 million Zambians and just over 5 million ballots printed.

The headquarters for the MMD party is only a couple of blocks from where we live.  We had a couple of slow nights driving home due to crowds, but this party's momentum seems to have subsided.

There are still a few hopefuls hanging on.

Today I drove by a small stadium where a rally was going to start but it was raining hard.
As I passed through this intersection my truck was plastered with about twenty posters with the photo of their candidate.  The posters stuck real well as the rain held them there.
After a few blocks I stopped and cleaned them all off.

It is best to stay non-political, especially since I am not eligible to vote.
To vote a Zambian must have a "national registration card" and a separate "voter registration card."
If you registered in your home village you must return there to cast your vote.
Tuesday 20 Jan. 2015 will be a national holiday so that everyone can vote. 

I do have an opinion about who I would vote for, but I don't share it, as I don't feel too informed.
There is so much said in the local languages with all those subtle nuances that I miss.
The thing about Zambia is that it has had six elections in its fifty years of peace and Zambians really do love peace and pray for that to continue.