In a vote that was widely considered free and fair, Zambians elected Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front (PF) as its newest president on September 22, garnering 43 percent of the vote and displacing current president Rupiah Banda of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD). The MMD has effectively ruled the country since multi-party elections were first permitted in 1991. Opposition parties have been free to operate since 2001, following ten additional years of de facto one party rule. While opposition candidates have experienced occasional harassment, electoral violence, and disruption of rallies, they have nonetheless mounted increasingly successful nationwide campaigns, none more evident than this year, with the PF sweeping to power in both the parliament and executive office.
A majority of Americans see democracy in the U.S. as weak and getting weaker, according to a national survey released by The Democracy Project, a joint initiative of Freedom House, the George W. Bush Institute, and the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.
On May 21, 2008, the UN General Assembly will elect 15 new Human Rights Council members. Twenty countries are candidates. Freedom House and UN Watch evaluated each candidate’s suitability for election to the Human Rights Council by examining its record of human rights protection at home and its record of human rights promotion at the UN.
Freedom House released an analysis of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa showing that the region has experienced notable increases in freedom over the past generation, although more setbacks than gains were seen in 2006.
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