Zambia elects new President

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Harare (New Ziana) – Zambia has elected a new leader after perennial contestant Hakainde Hichilema was early Monday declared winner of last week’s vote, defeating incumbent President Edgar Lungu.

Hichilema, who had contested five previous elections, finally secured Zambia’s top office on the back of a coalition of 10 opposition parties dubbed the United Party for National Development (UPND).

According to official results, Hichilema secured over 2.8 million votes against Lungu’s 1.8 million.

“I therefore declare the said Hakainde Hichilema to be President-elect of the Republic of Zambia,” Electoral Commission of Zambia chairman Justice Esau Chulu said in an early morning televised address.

The incumbent, Lungu, has voiced concern over the credibility of the polls, citing violence in Hichilema’s strongholds, but it is unclear whether he will contest the outcome in court.

In terms of Zambian law, a bereaved candidate must lodge a complaint with the Constitutional Court within seven days of the declaration of a winner.

In a congratulatory message, outgoing Southern African Development Community executive secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax commended Zambians for voting peacefully.

“I wish to congratulate Zambians for the peaceful elections and the President-elect Hakainde Hichilema and UPND for winning the 2021 Zambia Presidential election. May I call upon all stakeholders to maintain peace,” she tweeted.

“I wish to thank His Excellency Edgar Lungu for his leadership and contribution to the SADC integration agenda.”

International election observers have commended the transparent and peaceful organisation of the polls.
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