Polls have closed in the presidential election to elect Zambia’s sixth President with no major incident reported.
Vote counting is now underway with provisional results from polling stations expected to start trickling in after 19:00 hours.
And ECZ Director Priscilla Isaacs says the commission only expects to start receiving the first results at the national totaling centre after 23:00 hours.
The voting process went on generally peaceful in most parts of the country with people in selected places braving the rains including in Lusaka where there was a downpour in the morning which could have held back people.
The morning rains in Lusaka slowed down the momentum of people trekking to polling stations, but as the rains subsided in the afternoon a good number of people turned up at polling stations as confirmed by presiding officers talked to by QFM staffers in the field.
Meanwhile the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) says one person has been arrested for attempting to vote twice in Serenje district in central province.
Addressing the media this afternoon ECZ Director Priscilla Isaacs says the commission has since put in measures to ensure that the officers are on high alert.
Ms Isaacs explains that voting progressed well countrywide despite some challenges of transporting the ballots papers to some areas which experienced heavy rains.
She states that the commission is working very closely with the polling agents to ensure that the Process proceeds smoothly.
Ms Isaacs has also clarified that the delay in transporting ballot papers to some polling stations in places like Lukulu, Mitete and Limulunga was due to bad weather.
She explains that some areas have had heavy rains making it difficult for aircrafts to land.
Ms Isaacs says the commission will extend the voting period in the affected areas so that the electorates can have time to cast their vote.
Meanwhile Ms Isaac has refuted reports suggesting that only UPND strongholds experienced delay in the dispatch of ballots papers.
The ECZ director has since appealed to the electorates to exercise patience and trust the electoral process.
The eleven presidential candidates taking part in the presidential election are MMD’s Nevers Mumba, Green Party’s Peter Sinkamba, Heritage party President Godfrey Miyanda, Fourth Revolution party President Erick Chanda,UNIP’s Tilyenji Kaunda and NAREP’s Elias Chipimo Junior.
Others are PF’s Edgar Lungu, UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema, FDD’s Edith Nawakwi, Forum for Democratic Alternatives President Ludwig Sondashi and Christian Democratic Party candidate Dan Pule.