Zambia’s ruling party candidate Edgar Lungu saw his lead over opposition nominee Hakainde Hichilema narrow to about 2 percentage points with about three-quarters of the votes counted in a tight presidential contest.
Lungu had 48.9 percent to Hichilema’s 46.8 percent after results from 111 of 150 constituencies were tallied, the electoral commission said. The gap has narrowed since earlier results were announced.
Lungu and Hichilema are competing to succeed Michael Sata who died in October, triggering the early polls. Whoever wins will lead the country until regularly scheduled presidential elections are held in September next year. Zambia is facing slumping copper prices that may hurt revenues for Africa’s second-biggest producer, while a standoff with mine operators over new taxes may also lead to job losses.
Voting began on Jan. 20 and was extended into a third day at some polling stations on Thursday, due to torrential rain. About a third of registered voters cast ballots in the constituencies counted so far, the commission said.
Jan 22, 2015
To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Hill in Lusaka at [email protected]
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at [email protected]Ben Holland, Andrea Snyder