Zambia’s Electoral Commission on Monday, August 16, 2021, declared Hakainde Hichilema the country’s president-elect.

The opposition leader convincingly defeated incumbent Edgar Lungu in a hotly contested election garnering 2,810,777, about a million votes more than Lungu, who came second with 1,814,201.

“I therefore declare that the said Hichilema to be president of Zambia,” said electoral commission chairman, Esau Chulu, to a packed results centre in the country’s capital Lusaka.

The win meant Hichilema does not have to contest any second-round run-offs after meeting the constitutional 50.1% threshold for an outright winner.

The election has been marred by sporadic violence and Hichilema, a former CEO at an accounting firm before entering politics, would face a daunting task turning around the economic fortunes of one of the world’s poorest countries.

Investors are closely watching the election in Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, which made the continent’s first pandemic-era sovereign default in November. read more

Lungu said on Saturday that the election was “not free and fair” after incidents of violence against ruling Patriotic Front party agents in three provinces, and the party was consulting on its next course of action.

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