Lusaka – Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has claimed that the recently announced elections results were rigged, adding that he would be taking legal action, said reports on Tuesday.
According to the Lusaka Times, following the official announcement of incumbent President Edgar Lungu as the winner of the August 11 elections on Monday, the United Party for National Development (UPND) leader described the results as a coup against the southern African country’s democratic processes.
Hichilema accused the country's electoral body, the Zambia Electoral Commission (ECZ), of manipulating the results in favour of Lungu’s Patriotic Front.
Lungu reportedly defeated the long-time opposition leader by just less than 200 000 votes, to clinch another presidential term.
Lungu has been in office for just over 18 months, after taking power last year when he beat Hichilema by fewer than 28 000 votes in a snap election following the death in office of then-president Michael Sata.
Meanwhile, according to Aljazeera, at least 133 supporters of the UPND were arrested when they protested against the re-election of Lungu.
According to police chief Godwin Phiri the protesters targeted supporters of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and destroyed property.
"It is like this was well planned and they were just waiting for the winner to be declared. Calm has now returned following the arrests," Phiri was quoted saying.