THE latest Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report says although this year’s general elections are likely to be tightly contested, President Banda and the MMD are likely to win.
The report says the MMD will benefit from the advantages of incumbency and its formidable electoral machinery.
“However, the PF and Mr (Michael) Sata should put up a strong challenge to the MMD. Mr Sata narrowly lost the 2008 elections…,” it says.
The report adds that President Banda emerged from the MMD national convention in a much stronger position.
“Recent trends have shown that the MMD still has a bigger rural support base of about 65 percent of the total population,” the report says.
The report says political squabbling will intensify but stability will remain intact.
On policy agenda, the report says this will be underpinned by the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP; 2011-15), the medium-term expenditure framework (2011-13) and the extended credit facility with the International Monetary Fund (2008-11).
It adds that despite the impending elections, a high degree of policy continuity is expected in 2011-12.
The report says fiscal policy in 2011-12 will be expansionary, with expenditure forecast to rise by an average of 17.2 percent per year.
“The government plans to implement a shift from public consumption to public investment, with the former projected to grow by 11 percent (on average) and the latter by 38 percent.
“Real GDP growth is expected to stay robust, at seven percent in 2011 and 7.2 percent in 2012. Agriculture is forecast to grow by an average of 6 percent as producers of maize continue to receive subsidies and as the country’s vast tracts of uncultivated arable land attract an influx of foreign direct investment,” the report says.
[Zambia Daily Mail]
Lusakatimes has the full original report but cannot publish it for copyright reasons because the report is meant for sale. If you want to get the original copy for about $23 go to