Zambia’s opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema has been declared as the winner of last week’s presidential election by the country’s electoral commission.
Mr. Hichilema defeated the incumbent president, Edgar Lungu by a landslide win.
According to the final tally by the electoral commission, Mr Hichilema has won with 2,810,777 votes while Mr. Lungu gathered 1,814,201 votes in last Thursday’s presidential election. The registered voters were estimated to be seven million.
This landslide win means that Mr. Hichilema will not face a run-off contest.
” I therefore declare that the said Hichilema to be president-elect of the Republic of Zambia,”the electoral commission Chairman, Esau Chili announced at the result centre in Lusaka.
This announcement sparked off celebrations across the capital by the presidential elect’s supporters.
However, before the results were announced, Mr Lungu, 64, alleged that the elections were not free and fair citing that his polling agents under the Patrotic Front Party were harrased and chased from polling stations.
The officials from the United Party for National Development ( UPND) dismissed Lungu’s statement as a desperate act to try to throw out the entire election for his own benefit of clinging to power.
Hichilema, 59 was a former executive officer at an accounting firm before he joined active politics. He faces a huge task of turning around the economic status of one of the world’s poorest countries.
This is the sixth time the business tycoon has run for the top office and the third time he has challenged the incumbent, Lungu.
Lungu, who has been the country’s president for six years faced criticism over the rising costs of living, corruption and human rights abuses.