Zambia election: Opposition candidate Hakainde Hichilema declared winner

Zambia’s election commission confirmed that opposition candidate Hakainde Hichilema won last week’s presidential election

Mr. Hichilema defeated his main rival, incumbent President Edgar Lungu, by more than a million votes.

This was Mr Hichilema’s sixth attempt to win the presidency. Supporters celebrate in the streets of the capital Lusaka.

Mr. Lungu had previously claimed that the elections were not free and fair.

He said that election officials from the Patriotic Front party were removed from the ballot boxes and the votes were left unprotected.

In response, Mr Hichileman’s United National Development Party said the statement was “a desperate final move from an outgoing leadership”.

Opposition candidate Hakainde Hichilema declared the winner:

The electoral commission said in a recent count that in Thursday’s election, Mr. Hichileman won 2,810,777 votes out of 1,814,201 votes for Mr Lungu. Seven million voters were registered.

The quick win means Mr Hichileman won’t have to compete in the second round.

“I therefore declare that Hichilema will be President of Zambia,” Commission President Esau Chulu said at the Results Center in Lusaka.

Mr. Lungun’s six-year rule has been criticized for human rights abuses, corruption, a failing economy and mass unemployment.

Reporters say Mr Hichilema, 59, has caused widespread discontent among voters.

Now he is faced with the difficult task of changing the economic destiny of the country.

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News credit@ BBC

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