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Zambia's Democracy Faces Test after Death of President Sata
Following the death of Zambian President Michael Sata in London and Vice President Guy Scott becoming acting president until elections are held, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The government of Zambia should ensure that presidential succession occurs in accordance with the constitution and that the election to choose President Sata’s successor is free, fair, and transparent,” said Vukasin Petrovic, director of Africa programs. “The passing of Sata gives Zambia an opportunity to return to a democratic path. We encourage the country’s political leaders to work cooperatively with civil society on pressing human rights issues in the country.”
Sata was elected president in 2011 in a closely contested election that brought his opposition party, the Patriotic Front, into power for the first time. His government was criticized for placing restrictions on media and the work of NGOs.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.