Zambia: Opp. quits election results verification process
The opposition parties that took part in the Aug. 11 Zambian general election have withdrawn from the verification exercise of election results after the commission failed to take action against officers accused of manipulating general election.
The opposition issued a joint statement saying that presiding officers in five constituencies had left with ballot papers.
“Our results in constituencies where presiding officers have gone with the ballot boxes have been compromised. The matter was reported to the commission, but no action was taken against erring officers,” opposition leaders, including United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema said in a statement.
“The proof of what we are talking about is the fact that, the results announced at the totalling centres do not reflect the correct record of the proceedings in constituencies where voting took place,” he added. “This has been reported to the police and we are waiting to see how the police will react.”
Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja told journalists that his office had received a complaint claiming certain presiding officers had allegedly left the center's premises with ballot boxes.
“The matter, in which some presiding officers allegedly took off with election material, was reported at Lusaka Central Police Station by one of the presidential candidates and police are investigating the matter.”
Meanwhile, President Edgar Lungu had widened his lead by 114,813 votes against his closest rival of the United Party for National Development (UPND).
Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairperson Justice Esau Chulu told journalists that president Lungu had received 955,035 votes from 90 constituencies so far.
“The total of votes cast was 1,880,857, whereas 1,837,289 were valid and 43,568 were rejected. The percentage turnout of voters was 56. 71 percent.”