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LUSAKA (AFP) — Zambia has set a four-day window in late September in which presidential hopefuls can file their nominations ahead of the October 30 poll, an official said Thursday.

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has set September 23 to 26 as official dates during which nominations should be lodged with the country’s Chief Justice Ernest Sakala, the returning officer, said ECZ director Dan Kalale.

“All presidential candidates would be required to file their nomination in the company of 200 registered supporters,” said Kalale.

The race is expected to be between acting President Rupiah Banda, standing as the candidate of the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), and veteran politician Michael Sata who leads the Patriotic Front, the country’s biggest opposition party.

The third main contender is Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development.

Kalale said the election campaign will officially begin after September 26 and will run until October 29, the eve of the poll.

Copyright © 2008 AFP. All rights reserved.

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