Experts Predict Hakainde Hichilima Will Win Come August 2016.
The respected Economic Intelligence Unit has predicted that Hakainde Hichilema of the UPND will win the August 2016 general elections.
In its April 2016 Forecast Report just published on its website (www.eiu.com), the EIU states that although the UPND will win, there will be little change in national economic policies as well as the social conditions of the people.
The EIU argues that the defection from the PF by its former Vice President Guy Scott and that of Michael Sata’s nephew Miles Sampa, will help UPND win the elections.
The report states that the PF “is likely to be unseated without backing from more than Mr [Nevers] Mumba’s faction within the MMD. It is clear that the allegiances of the various MMD factions are fluid, a situation which in the coming months will see a lot of “horse-trading to secure electoral pacts.”
‘The authorities’ official policy agenda, which is unlikely to change drastically in the event of a UPND election win, will be to reduce inflation, bring down the fiscal deficit, boost mining production, develop infrastructure (particularly power and transport) to encourage the diversification of the economy, and support local business and employment.”
The report further says that both the PF and the UPND have inconsistent economic policies where “pro-business rhetoric” is mixed with “promises of more populist policies.”
This will cause the investors to continue to be wary about economic “policy uncertainty” irrespective of the party that wins the August 11 elections. “Uncertainty and confusion created by inconsistent government policy towards mining firms will weigh on investment, “the EIU says.
The Report states that the elections will be tightly fought leading to some stalemate because neither Mr Lungu nor Mr Hichilema enjoys the backing of a clear majority of voters.
“Because of the constitutional requirement that a candidate would secure the presidency only after the 50 per cent plus one vote, the MMD “could emerge as the kingmaker despite its internal rifts” although the MMD support among the voters is unclear.”
The EIU fears that there could be sporadic violence before and after the elections whose outcome would be determined by a weakening economy that is undermining the PF’s support among the voters.
It says the weak economy is manifested by job losses in the mines, deterioration of living standards of the majority of the people, high inflation, power shortages and below average economic activity.
However, after August, political stability will improve even though “no party is likely to secure an outright legislative majority,” a prospect that would substantially “slow down policy-making” up to 2020.
The EIU says, “We expect Mr Hichilema to be victorious in August. Nevertheless, although we expect the UPND to win the most seats, no party is likely to win an outright legislative majority.