Zambia: Edgar Lungu re-elected president Opposition leaders refuse to recognize result, cite electoral fraud

President Edgar Lungu

President Edgar Lungu

LUSAKA, Zambia (AA) – Zambian President Edgar Lungu has been re-elected, the country’s electoral commission announced Monday.

With 1,860,877 votes, he defeated his closest rival Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPND) who received 1,760,347 votes.

“I am satisfied that, Edgar Chagwa Lungu was validly elected president in an election which took place on Aug. 11, do hereby declare him duly elected president of the republic of Zambia,” said Electoral Commission of Zambia Chairman, Justice Esau Chulu, in Lusaka.

Lungu will rule for a second five-year term. He was elected president in 2015 to complete the term left vacant left by late president Michael Chilufya Sata who died in a London hospital in Oct. 2014. Lungu is Zambia’s sixth president since it gained its independence in 1964.

Accusations of fraud

Three losing presidential candidates have refused to recognize the result, citing widespread irregularities.

United National Independency Party (UNIP) candidate Tilyenji Kaunda told journalists he had instructed his lawyers to challenge the result.

UPND candidate Hichikema told reporters at the same news conference that the Electoral Commission of Zambia was turning a blind eye to allegedly falsified results.

“Furthermore, the president had allowed his ministers to remain in office after the dissolution of parliament so that they could use public resources – to the detrimental of us in the opposition – during the campaign period,” he said.

According to the UPND leader this violated laws which call for fair play in elections.

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