Opposition Candidate Hichilema Wins Zambia Presidential Election

The Electoral Commission of Zambia has declared opposition candidate Hakainde Hichilema as the winner of the August 12 presidential election.

Hichilema, 59, defeated his main rival, the outgoing President Edgar Lungu, in a landslide with than a million votes.

His victory comes at his sixth attempt at winning the presidency.

Hichilema got 2,810,777 votes against Lungu’s 1,814,201, with all but one of the 156 constituencies counted.

“I, therefore, declare that the said Hichilema to be president of Zambia,” electoral commission chairman, Esau Chulu, said in a packed results centre in the capital Lusaka.

Across Zambia, celebrations broke out in the streets as Hichilema’s supporters wearing the red and yellow of his United Party for National Development (UPND) danced and sang, while drivers honked their horns.

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Lungu, 64, is yet to concede defeat after earlier alleging that the elections were not free and fair. He claimed there were incidents of violence against ruling Patriotic Front party agents in three provinces, and the party was consulting on its next course of action.

Lungu’s six-year rule was criticised for alleged human rights abuses, corruption, a failing economy and massive unemployment.

Meanwhile, the police in Zambia on Sunday appealed for calm following a spate of violence experienced in some parts of the country following elections held on Thursday.

Police Spokesperson Esther Mwaata-Katongo said the police have observed an emerging tendency where violence has erupted as a result of others failing to contain emotions and ending up attacking those seen celebrating the victory of their candidates.

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“As members of the public continue receiving or waiting for results at different levels, we appeal to them to remain calm and celebrate their victory of their preferred candidates in a responsible and peaceful manner without breaching the peace,” she said in a statement.

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