Zambian opposition candidate Hakainde Hichilema won Zambia’s presidential election, defeating incumbent Edwar Lungu, the southern African nation’s election commission announced early on Monday. Mr Hichilema defeated his main rival, the outgoing President Edgar Lungu, by more than a million votes.
Hichilema secured more than 2.8 million votes, while Lungu was in second place with over 1.8 million votes in the vote held last Thursday. Hichilema, 59, had been leading in exit polls and preliminary election results released throughout the weekend. It was Mr Hichilema’s sixth attempt at winning the presidency. His supporters have been celebrating on the streets of the capital, Lusaka. Earlier, Mr Lungu alleged that the elections were not free and fair. He said election officials from his Patriotic Front party had been chased from polling stations, leaving votes unprotected. In response, Mr Hichilema’s United Party for National Development said the statement was the “desperate final act of an outgoing administration”. Rising costs of living and the impact of the pandemic had led to frustration with Lungu’s rule. He had been in office since 2015. Voters were also concerned about rising costs of living and crackdowns on dissent. Young Zambian’s often complain of a lack of opportunity.