Hakainde Hichilema leads in Zambia poll


Unconfirmed results in Zambia’s presidential election showed Sunday evening that opposition United Party for National Development leader Hakainde Hichilema was leading.

However, incumbent president Edgar Lungu, who is also the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) leader, has described the elections as not free and fair.

Making an announcement Sunday evening, Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) Chairperson Justice Esau Chulu indicated that the electoral commission had counted votes in 128 out of 156 constituencies.


He indicated that Hichilema was leading with 2,324,837 votes while Lungu was trailing with 1,464,681votes.

Supporters of Hichilema have begun celebrating the win, ignoring ECZ’s calls for citizens to wait peacefully for final official results.

Lungu claimed that the election had not been free and fair in three provinces seen as opposition strongholds, citing violence and the killing of his supporters, allegedly by opposition fanatics.


The incumbent president added that ruling party polling agents had been brutalised and chased from voting stations, leaving his party’s votes “unprotected”.

He said, although he raised his concerns with ECZ officials, “they have continued announcing the results”.

His PF party is, meanwhile, “consulting on the next decision we have to make”, he indicated in a statement released by his office.

Lungu’s statement indicates that he may challenge the validity of the election in order to stay in power, analysts suggested.

According to an African Union (AU) Election Observation Mission report, the “general elections took place against a backdrop of heightened political tension.

“Evidence of the heightened political situation in the country can be seen from the spate of violence, hate speech and misinformation reportedly carried out by political parties supporters, particularly those from the Patriotic Front and the United Party for National Development, during the election campaigns”.

The AU concludes that “despite reports of the unlevelled playing field and politically motivated violence during the pre-electoral period, and Covid-19 related challenges, in general, AUEOM observers reported that Election Day operations were conducted in a peaceful, transparent and professional manner,” the AU observes.

This month’s presidential election is the seventh since the reintroduction of multiparty politics in 1991.

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