Michael Chilufya Sata was a Zambia’s fifth President, from 23 September 2011 until his death on 28 October 2014. A social democrat, he led the Patriotic Front (PF), a major political party in Zambia. Under President Frederick Chiluba, Sata was a minister during the 1990s as part of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) government; he went into opposition in 2001, forming the PF. As an opposition leader, Sata – popularly known as “King Cobra” – emerged as the leading opposition presidential contender and rival to President Levy Mwanawasa in the 2006 presidential election, but was defeated. Following Mwanawasa’s death, Sata ran again and lost to President Rupiah Banda in 2008.
After ten years in opposition, Sata defeated Banda, the incumbent, to win the September 2011 presidential election with a plurality of the vote. He died in London on October 28, 2014, leaving Vice President Guy Scott as Acting President until a presidential by-election was held on 20 January 2015.