For the second time since independence in the 1960s, a democratic transition of power has taken place in Zambia. Following largely peaceful national elections September 20, Michael Sata was sworn in as president following confirmation of the vote by the National Commission. Former President Rupiah Banda graciously conceded and urged his supporters to fall in behind the new president for the country's good.
The United States congratulates the people of Zambia for their historic vote and commends them and their nation's leaders for their commitment to multiparty democracy. We look forward to working with President Sata, members of parliament and representatives of all of the country's political parties to build on the long-standing partnership between our two nations. Former President Banda is to be commended on his leadership and contributions to Zambia's democratic development.
The hard work of a living democracy does not end, however, when the votes are counted and the winners are announced. Instead, it offers the chance to reconcile political differences and find common ground to address the challenges facing the nation and seize the opportunity to address them.