Zambia to hold elections on September 20
Zambia will hold general elections on September 20, the President Rupiah Banda announced on Thursday, calling for peaceful campaigning, DPA reported.
"Zambia has no need for lies, smears, political thuggery and negative campaigning," said Banda, who is seeking re-election.
The landlocked, copper-rich southern African country of some 13 million people will vote in presidential, parliamentary and local government elections on the same date.
While seen at independence in 1964 as having extreme wealth potential, the country is one of the poorest in Africa.
It was ruled by a single party - and one president, Kenneth Kaunda - until 1991, when democratic headway was made. AIDS has also ravaged the country and its economy.
Banda became president after winning the elections in 2008 following the death of then-leader Levy Mwanawasa. The opposition charged that the polls were rigged.
"We are asking from him (Banda) and his colleagues to facilitate a peaceful, transparent and free and fair election," said opposition leader Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front.
The next presidential term will be for five years. The current election is being held early, as Banda holds office only to the end of Mwanawasa's last term under the Zambian constitution.