Zambian general election, 1968

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General elections were held in Zambia on 19 December 1968 to elect the National Assembly and President. The first post-independence polls saw incumbent Kenneth Kaunda retain his post as president, whilst his United National Independence Party, the only party to field candidates in all 105 constituencies,[1] won 81 of the 105 seats in the National Assembly. Voter turnout was 82.5% in the parliamentary election,[2] but 87.1% in the presidential election.[3]

The only other contestants in the National Assembly elections were the Zambian African National Congress (73 candidates), and three independents.[1] The United Party, which had been established in 1966, was banned in 1968, with many of its members absorbed by the ZANC.[4] The election campaign was marred by violence, with UNIP members in Northern and Luapula Provinces blocking ZANC candidates from lodging nomination papers, resulting in 30 UNIP candidates running unopposed.[4] Nevertheless, the election saw a swing towards the ZANC and four ministers losing their seats.[1]



Party Votes % Seats
Kenneth Kaunda United National Independence Party 1,079,970 81.8
Harry Nkumbula Zambian African National Congress 240,017 18.2
Invalid/blank votes 63,490
Total 1,383,477 100
Registered voters/turnout 1,587,966 87.1
Source: Nohlen et al.

National Assembly

Party Votes % Seats +/–
United National Independence Party 657,764 73.2 81 +26
Zambian African National Congress 228,277 25.4 23 +13
Independents 12,619 1.4 1 +1
Presidential appointees 5 New
Invalid/blank votes 63,490
Total 962,150 100 110 +35
Registered voters/turnout 1,166,637 82.5
Source: African Elections Database


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Zambia 1968 Inter-Parliamentary Union
  2. Elections in Zambia African Elections Database
  3. Nohlen, D, Krennerich, M & Thibaut, B (1999) Elections in Africa: A data handbook, p953 ISBN 0-19-829645-2
  4. 4.0 4.1 Zambia: 1968 Elections EISA