PATRIOTIC Front (PF) leader Edgar Lungu has been elected sixth president ofZambia in an unprecedented tightly contested election held on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, there were spontaneous celebrations on the streets in various parts of the country immediately after Chief Justice and returning officer Irene Mambilima declared Mr Lungu as duly elected President of Zambia at 22:20 hours last night.
“I, Lombe Chibesakunda, being the retaining officer for the election of the president do hereby declare Lungu Edgar to be duly elected as the president of the Republic of Zambia,” Ms Justice Chibesakunda said as the crowd burst into jubilation at Mulungushi Conference Centre in Lusaka.
Mr Lungu polled 807,925 votes representing 48.33 per cent of the total votes. Mr Lungu, who is also Justice and Defence Minister, was closely followed by Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPND) who garnered 780,168 votes, a representation of 46.67 per cent of the votes cast.
Eleven candidates participated in the race to succeed late president Michael Sata who died last year although the real battle was between Mr Lungu and Mr Hichilema.
The two had been neck and neck from the first day of counting the ballots forcing the ECZ to wait up to the last count of the constituencies before declaring Mr Lungu as winner.
Ms Justice Mambilima said FDD’s Edith Nawakwi, the only female candidate in the race was in third position after polling 15,131 followed by Nevers Mumba of the MMD with 14,609 vote, a representation of 0.87 percent.
UNIP candidate Tilyenji Kaunda received 9,737 votes with Eric Chanda of the Fourth Revolution getting 8,054 while, National Restoration Party (NAREP) president Elias Chipimo got 6,002 votes, Dan Pule of the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) had 3,293 representing 0.02 per cent.
Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda of the Heritage Party (HP) got 0.034 per cent of the votes after receiving 5,757 votes. Forum for Democratic Alternative (FDA) leader Ludgwig Sondashi and Green Party’s Peter Sinkamba trailed at the bottom with 2,073 and 1,410, respectively.
Of the total ballots cast, more than 17,000 were rejected as invalid.
The counting and ultimate declaration of the results had prolonged following poor weather conditions in some parts of the country which had made some areas inaccessible by road.
Mr Lungu, who will be sworn in today at National Heroes Stadium, takes over from Mr Sata who died in London in October last year.
[Times of Zambia]