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Zambia Ready to Resume Announcing Election Results

Polling agents guard ballot boxes as counting of ballot papers continues a day after presidential elections in Lusaka, Zambia, Jan, 21, 2015.

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is to resume announcing results of the presidential by-election on Thursday, says Priscilla Isaac, director of elections at the electoral commission.

The ECZ had earlier suspended announcing the tally, saying some qualified voters had not been able to cast ballots on Election Day due to delays blamed on inclement weather.

“We had concerns that we had over 21, 000 voters that had not been able to vote on the 20th, and were thus going to vote on the 21st and we felt that we didn’t want to put them in a position, where they might be influenced by the results that were already being announced,” said Isaac.

She called for patience as the electoral body goes through the process of ensuring the election is transparent and credible.

Isaac also said it is unlikely that the winner of the election would be announced on Thursday.

“I think that would be rather early, because we would still have to wait for the totaling of the votes in those constituencies, where the voting did not take place in all the polling stations on the 20th,” she said.

“When we are informing each other please let’s use the official results from the electoral commission, which would have been available at the polling stations, and at the constituency centers, and there can only be one winner and that winner would be declared by the Electoral Commission of Zambia when we have all the results in,” said Isaac.

Ms. Isaac said the ECZ provides all political parties with verified results as part its transparency policies.

“They have their own copies from the field, from the polling stations in the constituencies, and are at liberty to verify what they have with what we give to them,” she said.

Isaac called on Zambia media organizations to only broadcast verified results from the electoral commission.

The ECZ is the only constitutionally mandated body to organize and declare the winner of any elections.

Any political party that disputes the outcome of the election is free to petition the Supreme Court within 14 days of the declaration of the final results of the vote, according to Isaac.

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