Hakainde Hichilema, leader of Zambia’s United Party for National Development (UPND), has been elected as the country’s sixth republican President after garnering over 2.81 million votes in the August 12, 2021 general election. Mr. Hichilema did not have to compete in any second-round run-offs as a result of his overwhelming victory, since he met the constitutional 50.1 percent bar for an outright winner.
Mr. Hichilema defeated incumbent President Edgar Lungu, receiving 2,810,757 votes to the latter’s 1,814,201.
At exactly 02:35 hours, Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairperson Esau Chulu declared Mr. Hichilema duly elected republican president at the national results centre.
Justice Chulu disclosed that the results that were announced were from 155 constituencies out 156 saying there were challenges with the Mandevu constituency results.
“The outstanding results are not likely to materially influence the overall results of this election. Therefore, the consolidated results are for 155 constituencies out of 156,” he explained.
And Justice Chulu declared the winner of the presidential election based on Section 73 of sub-section two of the Electoral Process Act of 2016.
“The said provision permits me as the Returning Officer to proceed to declare the winner of this election as waiting for the said constituency will unreasonably delay the declaration of the results thereof,” he said.
The President-elect won by a landslide victory registering a margin of over 996,000 votes between him and the losing closest rival Edgar who amassed 1,814, 201 votes.
Soon after Mr. Hichilema was declared President-elect, UPND chairman for elections, Garry Nkombo said the party will, after forming, quickly start addressing economic challenges which the country is facing.
Other contenders in the presidential race were Democratic Party leader Harry Kalaba, who came third after garnering 24, 879 votes followed by People’s Alliance for Change (PAC) candidate Andyford Banda with 19, 804 while Socialist Party’s Fred M’membe received 16,379 votes.
Party of National Unity and Progress (PNUP) candidate Highvie Hamududu polled 10,388 with the only female candidate in the race, New Heritage Party candidate Chishala Kateka acquiring 8,063 votes while United Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia (UPPZ) candidate Charles Chanda garnered 6,520.
Zambia United for Sustainable Development’s Lazarus Chisela received 5,229 followed by MMD’s Nevers Mumba who polled 4,809 and Third Liberation Movement candidate Enock Tonga trailed close behind with 3,088.
UNIP’s Trevor Mwamba polled 2,997 while Patriots for Economic Progress candidate Sean Tembo got 1,798 votes and Steven Nyirenda of the National Restoration Party (NAREP) polled 1,766.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Kasonde Mwenda garnered 1,331 with Leadership Movement’s Richard Silumbe polling the least with 1,283 votes.
In terms of the law, if Mr. Lungu wants to settle a dispute or nullify elections, he must approach the Constitutional Court within seven days to lodge a complaint after a winner is announced.
Wild celebrations have broken out in several parts of Zambia following Mr Hichilema’s victory.