Zambia: Zambian opposition candidate Hakainde Hichilema challenges presidential polls


The presidential candidate of Zambia’s main opposition party, United Party for National Development (UPND), Mr. Hakainde Hichilema has rejected the presidential results announced on Monday, which declared incumbent President Edgar Lungu as winner.

He said the UPND will petition the election results at the Constitutional Court this week.

“We will be launching a Constitutional Court petition on the basis of the evidence we have collated and presented to the ECZ (Electoral Commission of Zambia).

“As the Constitution sets out, once we have launched our petition then there must be no inauguration until the matter is settled in the court. This is according to a provision in the new Constitutional Amendment Bill that Edgar Lungu himself assented to just a few months ago,” Hichilema said in a statement issued late on Monday in Lusaka, Zambia.

He stated: “Today the PF (Patriotic Front) has effected a coup on Zambia’s democratic process. The will of the people has been changed in an illegal and undemocratic way. We submitted evidence before the declaration of the results regarding the gross irregularities that have taken place.”

“In any free, fair, transparent and democratic system this would have been enough to prompt a recount in the affected areas. But, Zambia no longer operates that way.

“The ECZ has taken the decision away from the people. Zambians made their decision on Thursday. That decision has not been respected. During these delays the PF have acted with impunity to change the result,” Hichilema, who is the leader of the UPND charged.

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairperson, Justice Essau Chulu declared President Lungu of the ruling PF as winner of the presidential polls with 1,860,877 votes against his closest rival, Mr. Hichilema, who got 1,760,347 votes.

But, Hichilema said that he will not accept the results, cited among other things the withholding of “G12 forms” meant to authenticate results at polling stations and intimidation of UPND agents at polling stations during the counting process, as well as other alleged irregularities.

He said: “There is discrepancies in the votes count and the result issued by the tallying centre, for example the case of the 14,039 missing UPND votes in Kanyama (Lusaka) that were later found in the bin.”

“Once these were input our vote went from 17,985 to 32,024. Even after this, however, the ECZ announced a figure of 30,892. We are compiling a list of other such instances to present to the courts.

“There is also instances where a higher number of votes were cast than registered voters. For example at Kamanga polling station in Munali constituency (Lusaka) where there were 714 more votes cast than registered voters. The discovery of pre-marked ballot papers outside of Zambia Air Force in Lusaka as late as Sunday morning,” he said.

The opposition candidate also added: “We have specific evidence of gross irregularities in a number of constituencies, including all of the Lusaka urban constituencies, namely Kanyama, Munali, Chawama, Mandevu, Lusaka Central, Matero and Kabwata.”

According to the new amended constitution, a petition to challenge the election of a President may only be instituted after the election of the President-elect and petition must be filed within seven days after the date of the declaration of the election results.

It also stated that, where there is an election petition, the Speaker of the Parliament shall discharge the functions of the President pending the outcome of the petition.


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