Edgar Lungu Declared Presidential Winner in Zambia; Opposition Cries Foul

Patriotic Front General Secretary Davies Chama (L) celebrates while holding a portrait of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu after Lungu narrowly won re-election on Monday, in a vote his main rival Hakainde Hichilema rejected on claims of alleged rigging by the electoral commission, in the capital, Lusaka, Zambia, August 15, 2016. REUTERS/Jean Serge Mandela
Patriotic Front General Secretary Davies Chama (L) celebrates while holding a portrait of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu after Lungu narrowly won re-election on Monday, in a vote his main rival Hakainde Hichilema rejected on claims of alleged rigging by the electoral commission, in the capital, Lusaka, Zambia, August 15, 2016. REUTERS/Jean Serge Mandela

Edgar Lungu has been declared the winner of the Zambian presidential elections. He amassed 50.35% of the total votes, scaling through the 50% threshold by 0.35% to avoid a runoff election.

However, the presidential candidate of the major opposition party, the United Party for National Development (UPND) Hakainde Hichilema who garnered 47.67% of the votes as accused President Edgar Lungu and his political party, the Patriotic Front (PF) of electoral fraud. The wealthy businessman commonly referred to as “HH” has accused the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) of conniving with the ruling party to reduce the UPND’s candidate votes.

UPND lawyer, Jack Mwiimbu told journalists “We have evidence to the effect that the votes for Hakainde Hichilema have been deliberately reduced in collusion with the Electoral Commission of Zambia. We have confidence that the constitutional court will rise above board and declare the results a nullity.”

The country has enjoyed over two decades of democratic electoral stability which is currently being threatened by this allegation. In December 2015, The Post (A Prominent newspaper in Zambia) released a report that members of the ruling party, PF, were recruiting foreigners in border cities of Eastern province (Malawi border) and Luapula province (Democratic Republic of Congo border) to register as voters in Zambia.