Incumbent President and contender in the Zambian national polls, president Edgar Lungu said on Saturday that the country’s elections are not free and fair.
President Lungu said governing Patriotic Front polling agents were assaulted and chased from polling stations in three provinces.
Lungu said two members of the Patriotic Front were killed while his supporters were chased into hiding.
The pronouncement comes after the African Union Election Observation Mission said that the election was conducted in a peaceful, transparent and, professional manner.
From preliminary results, Businessman Hakainde Hichilema is leading in 31 out of the country’s 156 constituencies from Thursday’s vote. He has always criticised the president’s poor fiscal policies for the nation’s economic turmoil.
Some constituencies perceived to be President Lungu strongholds were won by Hichilema, suggesting he has gained ground since the last elections in 2016, when he lost by about 100,000 in a poll marred by allegations of rigging. 2021 is Hichilema’s sixth attempt at the Presidency.
Hichilema’s United Party for National Development party said President Lungu’s comments were the “desperate final act of an outgoing administration”. Lungu’s party said its vote tally showed a huge turnout in its strongholds and it was confident of victory.
Although social media access was restored as the first set of results from a hard-fought presidential election trickled in through the announcement by the electoral commission on Saturday, final outcome is set to be announced on Sunday.
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