The UPND was established in December 1998 and was initially led by Anderson Mazoka, who had left the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) shortly beforehand. Mazoka was the party’s presidential candidate for the 2001 general elections, finishing second with 27% of the vote, less than 2% behind the winner Levy Mwanawasa of the MMD. In the National Assembly elections the UPND won 49 seats, becoming the second largest party after the MMD
In March 2006 the party joined the United Democratic Alliance, formed by the three largest opposition parties to contest that year’s general elections. After the death of Mazoka in May 2006, Hakainde Hichilema became party leader, and was the alliance’s presidential candidate. However, he finished third behind Mwanawasa and Michael Sata with 25% of the vote. The UDA won only 26 seats in the National Assembly, down from the 74 the three parties had won in 2001.
Hichilema was the UPND candidate for the 2008 presidential by-election, finishing third with 20% of the vote. He finished third again in the 2011 general elections with 18% of the vote, whilst he UPND won 28 seats in the National Assembly, becoming the third-largest party.
Hichilema was selected as the party’s candidate for the 2015 presidential by-election. Hichilema become the main opponent to the Patriotic Front candidate Edgar Lungu after receiving the backing of several MMD MPs. Although Hichilema received 47% of the vote, Lungu was elected with 48%.
UPND VITAL DOCUMENTS