LUSAKA, Zambia (AP) — Zambia will hold elections on Jan. 20 to choose a successor to President Michael Sata who died last month, the interim president has announced.
The election is according to the southern African nation's constitution, which calls for polls within 90 days of a president's death, said Guy Scott.
Defense Minister Edgar Lungu announced his candidacy for the ruling party, the Patriotic Front, on Wednesday.
"The fact that so many of my colleagues in parliament came out in the open saying that I am the right person to succeed Mr. Sata is evidence that I am the right person," said Lungu.
Riots broke out earlier this month when Scott fired Lungu as the Patriotic Front's secretary general. The riots stopped when Lungu was reinstated.
Mulenga Sata, the son of the late president and mayor of the capital, Lusaka, has also announced he is running to be the Patriotic Front's candidate. The party is expected to announce who it will support later this month.
Former president Rupiah Banda will stand as leader of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy. Banda was president of Zambia from 2008 to 2011, losing the last election to the late Sata.
Former vice president Scott cannot run for president because his parents were not Zambian by birth or descent.