The Zambian Electoral Commission announced this Monday, August 16, 2021 that the opponent Hakainde Hichilema, 59, has largely won the presidential election against outgoing Edgar Lungu 64. Thousands of people, dressed in red, the colour of the United Party for National Development (UNPD), were in the streets of Lusaka, the capital, to celebrate the victory even before the final results. The outgoing president challenged the results in three provinces.
“I declare Hakainde Hichilema president-elect of the Republic of Zambia on August 16,” Commission Chair Esau Chulu said at approximately 2:30 a.m. in front of the press. A large victory for the Zambian opponent who counted 2.8 million votes, or almost one million more votes validly cast.
A victory widely celebrated in the streets of the capital with horns, music and a strong atmosphere. It was the third time that the opponent Hichilema faced Edgar Lungu in the ballot box. In 2016, it lost with only 100,000 votes difference.
The outgoing president, a candidate for his own succession, strongly contested the results, believing that the election did not go well in three heavily populated provinces of Copperbelt where the head of state had even ordered a military reinforcement the day after the election.
However, former Sierra Leonean President Ernest Bai Koroma, head of African Union observers, said he was generally satisfied with the way the presidential election was organised. In general, the voting day operations were conducted in a peaceful, transparent and professional manner,’ he said.