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The Zambian Government Secretary to the Cabinet, Roland Msiska, has announced that the Government of Zambia had declared a one-off non-working public holiday in Zambia on Thursday, August 11, 2016, "to facilitate the holding of the general elections and referendum".
Last month (2016-07-18), the President of the Green Party of Zambia, Peter Sinkamba, had appealed to Zambian President, Edgar Lungu, to declare Wednesday-Friday, August 10-12, 2016, as constitutional public holidays in Zambia to ensure smooth tripartite elections, whereas many voters need to travel to their place of voting on the day before the election and return to their place of work the following day.
The date of Zambia's preceding tripartite elections (2011-09-15 and 2011-07-28), were also declared as a one-off non-working public holiday in Zambia as per the "Public Holidays (Declaration) notice 2015", published in the Zambia Government Gazette dated Monday, January 12, 2015.
Two and a half years before that (2012-05-01), Zambia's technical committee drafting the new Zambian constitution had released a draft of the new constitution which specified, in its Article 82, that "a general election shall be held every five years on the last Thursday of September after the last general election" and that "The day on which an election is held shall be a public holiday" (in the final version of the approved constitution, this was amended to Article 56-1 which reads "a general election shall be held, every five years after the last general election, on the second Thursday of August").
Although election day was not always an automatic public holiday in Zambia, the government of Zambia often declared a one-off public holiday for many prior elections (2011-09-15 and 2008-08-26). In particular, six years ago (2008-10-23), the government of Zambia had declared a one-off public holiday on Thursday, October 30, 2008, on the occasion of the upcoming presidential election to replace former President Levy Mwanawasa, who died the previous summer.
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