In Zambia, former president Kenneth Kaunda has declined an offer to be the presidential candidate for the opposition parties. Dr. Kaunda told English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey he has no intention of being involved in party politics. He said the parties indicated to him that they were ready to merge under his leadership to help them win next year’s elections. He added that he has now taken the role of an advisor and has passed the torch of leadership to young people so that they can serve the country. The 81-year-old former leader was the first president of Zambia and led the country for 27 years after it gained independence in 1964. But he lost a democratic election in 1991 as the country called for multiparty politics.