Thursday has been declared as a public holiday to allow registered voters to possible cast their votes. Zambians would be electing the republican President to replace the late President, Levy Mwanawasa, who died in France on August 19, 2008.
Acting President Rupiah Banda said he believed in democracy and that was why he and the MMD would accept the election outcome.
“Let me inform the nation that I will accept the outcome of the President election next week. But can I also appeal to my colleagues to do the same instead of threatening that they shall not accept the results. The Zambian people shall elect whom they want,” he is widely quoted today.
However, reports say some opposition leaders had already issued a statement that they will not accept the outcome of the presidential elections fearing that the elections would allegedly be rigged.
He said MMD was a democratic party which believes in elections and not rigging. Law enforcement agencies would deal firmly with people threatening violence after the election results, he warned.
Other candidates are Michael Sata, Hakainde Hichilema and Godfrey Miyanda.
Meanwhile, SADC has sent at least 25 election observers and they have already been dispatched to different provinces with assistance of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).
In total, SADC is expected to have more than 100 observers coming from its 15 member states.
Apart from SADC, other African regional organisations invited include Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Economic Community of West African States, Pan-African Parliament, Economic Community of Central African States, East African Community, and Maghreb Union.
International bodies invited include Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) bloc, Non-Aligned Movement, Association of South East Asian Nations and European Union.
Zambia has 3.9 million registered voters, and ECZ says it will be using 2006 voters’ roll due to time limitations to conduct a fresh list.