At stake in this election:
- The office of President of Zambia
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: President Rupiah BANDA *
- Head of Government: President Rupiah BANDA **
- Assembly: Zambia has a unicameral National Assembly with 158 seats.
* Vice President Rupiah BANDA has been the acting president since President Levy Mwanawasa's death in August 2008.
** The president is both the chief of state and head of government.
Description of electoral system:
- The President is elected by popular vote.
- President is elected by popular vote.
- In the National Assembly, 150 members are elected by popular vote to serve 5-year terms and 8 members are appointed by the President to serve 5-year terms.
Main Candidates in the Presidential race:
- Rupiah BANDA
Party: Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD)
- Michael SATA
Party: Patriotic Front (PF)
- Hakainde HICHILEMA***
Party: United Party for National Development (UPND)
- Godfrey MIYANDA
Party: Heritage Party (HP)
*** In the 2006 presidential election, UPND was a member of the United Democratic Alliance, a coalition of political parties, all of whom backed Hakainde HICHILEMA as presidential candidate.
Last Presidential election:
- President Levy MWANAWASA, elected to office on September 28, 2006, died in August 2008. This election is a by-election to fill the vacated office of President, as required by Zambia's constitution in the event of a president's untimely departure from office.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 11,669,534 (July 2008 est.)
- Registered Voters: 3,944,135 (October 2008 )