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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Of Cabbages and King Cobra: Populist Politics and Zambia's 2006 Election
Authors:Larmer, MilesISNI
Fraser, AlastairISNI
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society
Geographic term:Zambia
Movement for Multiparty Democracy
opposition parties
foreign investments
Politics and Government
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/4496485
Abstract:Zambia's 2006 election was won by incumbent President Levy Mwanawasa and his Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD). However, it is argued here that the most important outcome of the campaign was the successful articulation of a new populist politics by Michael Sata's Patriotic Front (PF), which won a significant majority in urban areas. Sata's attacks on foreign investors (particularly from China) for their abuse of the workforce and their supposedly corrupt relationship with the MMD resonated with urban Zambians, already angered by the negative impact of economic liberalization. PF's campaign injected popular social demands into what had become a moribund political debate. The MMD government is now adopting PF policies in an attempt to restore its own urban support base. The article describes the campaign and its outcomes, contrasting the political discourse of the MMD and PF and analysing the differences in voting behaviour between rural and urban Zambians. It argues that recent relief of 92 percent of Zambia's international debt, along with the renewed profitability of the copper mining industry, have created conditions for the re-emergence of a nationalist-developmental political framework. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]