Zambian general election, 1978

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General elections were held in Zambia on 12 December 1978. At the time, the country was a one-party state, and as such, the United National Independence Party was the sole contestant in the elections. Its candidate Kenneth Kaunda was re-elected as President with 80.7% of the vote, whilst UNIP won all 125 seats in the National Assembly. Voter turnout was around 65% in the parliamentary election,[1] but 66.7% in the presidential election.[2]


Prior to the elections, primary elections were held to elect candidates for the 125 constituencies. Only UNIP members could vote in the primaries, and the top three candidates would be able to stand for the National Assembly election.[3] However, 30 candidates who had won primaries, including six sitting MPs, were vetoed by the party's central committee. In total, 732 people stood for election to the National Assembly.[3] In six constituencies (in which there were 87,482 registered voters) there was only one candidate, who was returned unopposed.[4]



Kaunda was the sole candidate for president, and voters voted yes or no to his candidacy.

Choice Votes %
Yes 1,026,127 80.7
No 244,719 19.3
Invalid/blank votes 44,763
Total 1,315,609 100
Registered voters/turnout 1,971,881 66.7
Source: Nohlen et al.

National Assembly

Party Votes % Seats +/–
United National Independence Party 100 125 0
Presidential appointees 10 0
Appointed Speaker 1 0
Invalid/blank votes
Total 1,273,462 100 136 0
Registered voters/turnout 1,844,399 67.6
Source: Nohlen et al., African Elections Database


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  1. Zambia 1978 Inter-Parliamentary Union
  2. Nohlen, D, Krennerich, M & Thibaut, B (1999) Elections in Africa: A data handbook, p953 ISBN 0-19-829645-2
  3. 3.0 3.1 Zambia: 1973 and 1978 one-party elections EISA
  4. Elections in Zambia African Elections Database