Zambian president promises free, fair polls


LUSAKA, Zambia

Zambia’s president on Friday assured ambassadors of EU states that his country expects a free and fair election this August.

Speaking to the envoys at State House in the capital Lusaka, Edgar Lungu said the will of Zambians will be the ultimate winner in the Aug. 12 polls.

“All political players should follow the rules that govern the electoral process because the problem that Zambia is facing during elections is the failure of the losing party to accept results,” he said.

Jacek Jankowski, head of the EU Delegation to Zambia, praised Lungu’s commitment to hold democratic, free, and fair elections.

“The EU will help Zambia financially in holding free and fair elections and will deploy election observers,” he said.

When Zambia, a landlocked Southern African country, goes to the polls, Lungu and opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema are expected to be the top contenders.

Lungu beat Hichilema by 100,000 votes in the last general election, in 2016, an outcome the opposition leader called fraudulent.

Another opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), was expected to offer the duo stiff competition but its leader Chishimba Kambwili quit Thursday and is expected to throw his weight behind Lungu’s Patriotic Front (PF).

Kambwili is a former minister in Lungu’s government and formed the NDC after the president sacked him in 2017 on corruption allegations.

Meanwhile, Zambia’s electoral commission announced that presidential candidates are expected to file their nomination papers on May 17-20.

The commission’s chief, Kryticous Patrick Nshindano, said the final voter roll is expected to be validated on May 9 and campaigning will kick off on May 12.


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