Zambian President Lungu complains of violence as Hichilema takes early lead

Zambian President Edgar Lungu has declared the presidential and parliamentary elections in Zambia as “not free and fair”,  saying the polls were characterized by acts of violence.

Lungu said in a statement released by State House today that his party, Patriotic Front, is consulting on the next course of action over the general election held on Thursday, 12th August 2021

According to Lungu, there have been incidents of violence in three provinces, namely Southern Province, North Western Province, and Western Province.

The president complained that Patriotic Front polling agents were brutalized and chased from polling stations, a situation that left the ruling party’s votes unprotected in the three provinces.

The President also cited the killing of a Patriotic Front North Western Province Chairman during voting, and another man shortly before the voting, as criminal acts that rendered the general election not free and fair.

He further argued that the violence has seen his party competing in only seven out of ten provinces.

“Right now, some of our agents and supporters are in hiding because of these criminal acts. How can the elections be fair when people have been murdered and many others are in hiding after being brutalized, is that democracy? We have written to the Electoral Commission of Zambia but they have continued announcing the results. So, we are consulting on the next decision we have to make,” said Lungu, 64, who has been in power since 2015.

According to the first results from the electoral commission on Saturday, opposition politician Hakainde Hichilema has got 449,699 votes against the 266,202 votes garnered by Lungu in 31 of the country’s 156 constituencies.

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