Nov 20, 2014 9:58 AM

Zambian president's widow joins succession race

The Associated Press

LUSAKA, Zambia (AP) The contest to replace Zambia's recently deceased president is becoming a family affair as the late president's widow said Wednesday she will seek to become the ruling party's presidential candidate.

Christine Kaseba-Sata is the third family member of the late President Michael Sata to join the presidential race within the ruling Patriotic Front party.

Mulenga Sata, the son of the late president and mayor of the capital, Lusaka, announced his candidacy this week. Sata's nephew, Miles Sampa, who is the deputy commerce minister, has also announced his candidacy.

The former first lady made her announcement just over a week after her husband's funeral. Kaseba-Sata told a local radio station that she was still in mourning but was determined to complete the late president's work.

"The pain I am feeling will be nothing compared to the pain I would feel if President Sata's desires are not met," she said.

Michael Sata died at age 77 while in office in October after a long illness.

Kaseba-Sata, a medical doctor specializing in gynecology and obstetrics, will compete against several other party candidates, including the two family members and Defense Minister Edgar Lungu.

Riots broke out earlier this month when interim President Guy Scott fired Lungu as the Patriotic Front's secretary general. The riots stopped when Lungu was reinstated.

The Patriotic Front party is expected to announce who it will support later this month.

Zambia will elect a new president on Jan. 20. Candidates from several parties are likely to be on the final ballot.


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