15 August 2016

Zambia opposition leader to contest vote result

Zambia’s main opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema will contest the election results that gave President Edgar Lungu victory in a tightly-fought vote, his party said Monday.

“We are going to take up this matter legally,” Jack Mwiimbu, legal specialist for the United Party for National Development (UPND), told reporters. “We have overwhelming evidence of manipulations in the figures.”

Hichilema had charged on Sunday that unexplained delays in releasing the results were a clear sign of fraud to produce a win for Lungu’s Patriotic Front (PF).

“Clearly this is rigging an election, with the collusion of managers at the Electoral Commission of Zambia or commissioners,” said the wealthy businessman, who had made his fifth bid for the presidency.

“We know that the PF, once they realised that they were behind, they wanted to force a re-run. The winner in the elections could have been announced a day or two ago.”

Zambia’s incumbent President Edgar Lungu was on Monday declared the winner of a closely-fought election in the southern African country that the opposition claimed was rigged.

Election commission chief Esau Chulu announced that Lungu was “duly elected” after releasing the final results from Thursday’s election which put the president ahead of his main rival Hakainde Hichilema by around 200,000 votes.

Lungu polled over 1.86 million votes against Hichilema’s 1.66 million, according to results released four days after polling day

Related Stories: Zambia’s Lungu re-elected in disputed vote



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