Zambian opposition claims vote rigging

By Drum Digital
24 January 2015

Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema on Saturday accused the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) of vote rigging in the presidential by-election.

"A stolen election does not reflect the will of the people and is not going to deliver," he said at a press conference on Saturday.

He claimed that members and supporters of his United Party for National Development had been at the receiving end of widespread violence.

He said there were irregularities in the counting process and declared himself the winner of the election.

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) announced that ruling party leader Edgar Lungu had garnered 789,848 votes from 146 constituencies while Hichilema had received 776,832 votes. Only four constituencies remained to be counted out of 150.

The election winner was expected to be announced at 6pm.

Hichilema said the four remaining constituencies were part of Lungu's traditional strongholds.

"As you know we've yet to hear the final few constituencies announced by the Electoral Commission of Zambia, however it is with deep regret that we now already know the predetermined result. They intend to announce victory for PF candidate, Edgar Lungu," he said.

Hichilema said his party would respect the results of the election but that it did not reflect the peoples' will.

"What we have seen unfold over the last few days could not have been further away from the democratic process we aspire to uphold and the results announced do not reflect accurately the voting numbers that occurred on the 20th January 2015."

-SAPA

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