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[Update] Zambia incumbent takes narrow lead, vote counting continues

[Update] Zambia incumbent takes narrow lead, vote counting continues

Zambia

Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu is said to have taken a narrow lead in Thursday’s polls according to results emerging from three constituencies.

Lungu polled over 17,600 votes as against his main rival Hakainde Hichilema who took nearly 16,400 votes.

Delay in distributing electoral materials prolonged voting in some parts of Zambia to the early hours of Friday when counting had already started in most constituencies.

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has however announced on Friday afternoon that all polling stations in the country have officially closed and counting is still ongoing.

Priscilla Isaac, ECZ Director explained that the last polling stations closed around 02:00 am local time (24:00 GMT) and called for patience as the ballots are being counted.

The ECZ Director also warned that results announced on social media are not from the commission and are not official as they are expecting some results later in the day.

Civil society groups have also called for calm to allow the electoral commission to collate the results.

The Christian Churches Monitoring Group appealed to candidates and their parties to “call for calm and restraint on the part of their supporters as results are tallied and winners announced,” the Zambian National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) reported.

Thursday’s general election in Zambia was described as calm and had a huge turn out as ballots were cast for the Presidential, National Assembly, Mayor/ Council Chairpersons election and then the constitutional referendum.

The election will go into a second round if none of the nine presidential candidates secures more than 50% of the votes cast.

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