By CHARITY MOONGA, PERPETUAL SICHIKWENKWE and CATHERINE NYIRENDA –
WITH nine constituencies remaining to be counted and verified, PF president Edgar Lungu was yesterday leading with 780, 691 votes while UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema trailed with 752, 850 from 141 constituencies.
The remaining constituencies to be verified are Mafinga, Chama North and South and Kanchibya in Muchinga Province, Lukulu West, Sikongo and Luena in Western Province, Mfuwe in Eastern, Mufumbwe in North-Western.
After three days of vote counting and verification, which was hampered by logistical, weather and terrain challenges, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) announced results from 141 constituencies.
The results gave Mr Lungu a 27, 841 lead over Mr Hichilema as the race ebbs towards the end, with the two expecting to get maximum votes from the remaining constituencies.
The figures represent 48.43 per cent votes for Mr Lungu and 46.70 per cent for Mr Hichilema.
ECZ chairperson Ireen Mambilima announced the latest figures around 22:00 hours in Lusaka and expressed hope that the remaining results would be announced today.
FDD president Edith Nawakwi polled 13,597 representing 0. 84 per cent of the total votes cast.
MMD’s Nevers Mumba polled13,971 while Tilyenji Kaunda of UNIP got 9,210 with Eric Chanda of fourth Republic getting 7,540.
Elias Chipimo of NAREP has 5,672 while Godfrey Miyanda of Heritage Party has 5,552 and Danny Pule of CDP has 3,079.
Ludwig Sondashi of FDA has garnered 1,937, while Peter Sinkamba of Green party has 1,358.
Ms Justice Mambilima explained that it was not possible to declare a winner at this stage until the other constituency results were verified.
She said unlike in the 2011 presidential election when the Commission announced the winner before all constituency results were concluded, the situation now was different because the two leading candidates still had the chance to gain sufficient votes to win.
Ms Justice Mambilima called for calm and for political parties to refrain from premature celebrations until the process is concluded.
Earlier, in the day, ECZ had announced results from 121 constituencies were Mr Lungu had led with 701,089 and Mr Hichilema had 674, 185.
Ms Justice Mambilima had announced the results at 14.30 hours.
Ms Nawakwi had 11, 770 representing 0.82 percent of the total votes cast.
Dr Mumba polled 10,737 while Mr Kaunda of UNIP got 7,884 with Mr Chanda of Fourth Revolution getting 6, 071.
Mr Chipimo of NAREP got 4, 997 while Godfrey Miyanda of Heritage Party got 4,694 and Daniel Pule of CDP had 2,596.
Ludwig Sondashi of FDA got 1,602 while Peter Sinkamba of Green party got 1,173.
[Times of Zambia]