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Zambia's opposition leader wins presidential election

In Zambia's presidential election, opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema defeated incumbent Edgar Lungu by a landslide.

Hakainde Hichilema - presidential election

Hakainde Hichilema, a businessman and opposition leader, was proclaimed the winner of Zambia's closely contested presidential election, ousting incumbent Edgar Lungu.

Celebrations began on Sunday and lasted until sunrise as supporters of Hakainde Hichilema painted Zambia red.


Presidential Election Results

Official results on Monday indicated Hichilema had received 2,810,757 votes to Lungu's 1,814,201 votes, with 155 of 156 seats reporting.

In a televised address, election commission head Justice Esau Chulu remarked, "I therefore pronounce the said Hakainde Hichilema to be President-elect of the Republic of Zambia."

After an election plagued by intermittent violence, the big victory fueled public jubilation.

It's the third time that power has shifted peacefully from a ruling party to the opposition since the southern African country's independence from Britain in 1964.

Hichilema, a former chief executive officer of an accounting firm before entering politics. Confronts a difficult task in turning around one of the world's poorest countries' economic fortunes.

Hichilema ran for president for the sixth time, and the third time he faced incumbent Lungu, who is 64 years old.

He was defeated by Lungu by around 100,000 votes in 2016.

Lungu, 64, has refused to admit defeat and has said that he may appeal the results, which would be impossible given the margin.

After incidences of violence against ruling Patriotic Front party agents in three regions. 

Lungu claimed on Saturday that the election was "not free and fair," and that the party was consulting on its next course of action.

Officials from the UPND dismissed Lungu's statement as coming from people "trying to throw out the entire election just to keep their jobs."

If Lungu wishes to settle a dispute or nullify elections, he must file a complaint with the Constitutional Court within seven days of the winner's announcement.

International election observers praised the polls for being transparent and peaceful. But they criticized restrictions on freedom of assembly and movement during the campaign.

Security forces prevented Hichilema from campaigning in a number of regions, claiming violations of coronavirus measures and the Public Order Act.

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AKIVA POST: Zambia's opposition leader wins presidential election
Zambia's opposition leader wins presidential election
In Zambia's presidential election, opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema defeated incumbent Edgar Lungu by a landslide.
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