Political Parties and the Quest for Democratic Consolidation in Zambia

"This is a study of political parties in Zambia within the context of a wider regional programme on political parties and governance in Southern Africa. It seeks to establish the place of political parties in the Zambian political system. It also examines the extent to which the political environment in the country – external to individual political parties – and the functioning and internal organization of political parties have affected their role in Zambia’s democratic consolidation process, given the centrality of political parties in that process. The research examined the extent to which the operation of state structures and the behavior of state officials allow for the free operation of political parties and, in particular, the free and fair participation of parties in elections. The examination of the internal functioning and structure of political parties focused on issues that are critical for well-functioning political parties which are needed to sustain a liberal democracy. The research therefore delved into internal party structures and the management of intra-party politics - important factors in determining the extent to which these political parties are adequately prepared to face the challenges of competitive elections."