In Zambia, the chairperson of the independent electoral commission says final results of the hotly contested tripartite elections would be announced today, Monday. The police had advised the commission to postpone the announcement from Sunday due to security reasons after clashes between supporters of presidential candidate Michael Sata and the police.
Meanwhile, Michaela Sata and Hakainda Hichilema have both called for some of the ballots from certain constituencies to be verified. Incumbent president Mwanawasa yesterday appealed to the nation for peace and calm as the country awaits the final outcome of last Thursday's tripartite elections. Mwanawasa warned that anybody who wants to sabotage the elections would face the full rigors of the law.
Sources say, police fired teargas and arrested scores of supporters of Michael Sata during a protest yesterday over results that showed their leader trailing in third place in the presidential election. Sata reiterated his belief that he had won and slammed the commission for holding back on results from what he claimed were his strongholds.
Richard Mulunga is a Zambian journalist. He spoke with VOA English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey, about the latest development while the Zambian awaits the announcement of who will be Zambian president for the next five years.
“… The electoral commission has continued to issue results. But this was supposed to be the last day in which this institution should have given the last results. But during the last briefing, the electoral commission of Zambia, chairperson Irene Mambilima gave herself another day in which to continue with the exercise. She said the police have given themselves advice that they should not continue with the election results announcement in the now because of security concerns. The institution will only issue out the next update at 10 hours local time (which is 8:00 GMT) today…” he said.
Mulunga said among the presidential aspirants, patriotic front presidential candidate seem to be dissatisfied with the latest results claiming election fraud, while incumbent president is appealing for civility.
“ So far only Levy Mwanawasa and Michael Sata have issued statements. Michael Sata has been rather conflicting, earlier he said he will accept the results of the election but during his press conference, he indicated that he only accept the results on condition the elections are not rigged. We don’t know what evidence he has that the elections would rigged or not rigged. Mr. Mwanawasa, who is the incumbent president, has rather called for peace, harmony and unity during this period that we are experiencing in Zambia. The other three candidates have been mute,” he noted.
Mulunga said, from the results so far announced, incumbent president looks favorable to win last Thursday’s tripartite elections. He adds that the country is still waiting for the electoral commission to give an update of the results and declare the winner today.
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