Sata to contest next elections

2009-05-13 13:24

Lusaka - Zambia's opposition leader Michael Sata has declared that he will contest presidential and parliamentary elections in 2011, after he narrowly lost a presidential by-election to Rupiah Banda, private radio reported Tuesday.

Sata, 72, the populist leader of the Patriotic Front is a strong critic of mounting Chinese investment in Africa's largest copper producer.

Addressing a political rally in the northern town of Mansa, Sata said many young people he wanted to groom as successors had shown themselves to be interested only in money and not the party.

He was referring to 22 Patriotic Front MPs that defied his orders not to join a multi-stakeholder body established by government to review the constitution.

Sata has threatened to expel the MPs but the Supreme Court has ruled he has no grounds to do so.

The rebel MPs are demanding a leadership convention before the 2011 combined presidential, parliamentary and local elections.

Sata has fought and lost three presidential elections to the ruling Movement for Multi-Party Democracy. Banda edged him out in the race last year to succeed deceased leader Levy Mwanawasa. Mwanawasa who died of a stroke.

Sata initially challenged the results in court but later dropped the case.