The European Union has welcomed the Electoral Commission of Zambia’s release of results and has since congratulated President-elect Hakainde Hichilema.
“We look forwards to working with the new President and his government, as well as the newly elected members of the National Assembly, to strengthen our long and productive collaboration with Zambia,” said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in a statement.
“As a longstanding supporter of Zambia’s democratic process, the European Union commends voters who clearly demonstrated their commitment to democracy, participating in large numbers despite the challenging context of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Mr Borrell said the example set by those candidates who made timely statements of concession is also very welcome.
“The EU Election Observation Mission’s preliminary assessment found that, despite a number of shortcomings during the campaign, the election day itself was largely calm and the electoral process was technically well managed. The EU Electoral Observation Mission remains in the country completing its work and finalising recommendations, on which we look forward to working closely with Zambian stakeholders,” he said.
Meanwhile, the National Olympic Committee of Zambia President Alfred Foloko has congratulated the country’s President-elect Hakainde Hichilema.
Mr. Hichilema’s landslide victory – by almost a million votes – and the peaceful transition of power has been heralded in sub-Saharan Africa and further afield.
The NOCZ chief has now joined these calls and says he is “thrilled” at the possibility of collaborating with Mr. Hichilema.
“On behalf of the National Olympic Committee of Zambia and indeed on my own behalf, I wish to express our hearty congratulations on your ascendency to the highest office of the land, Presidency of the Republic of Zambia”, wrote Mr. Foloko.
“As a sports body, we are confident that you will steer this country with diligence and have no doubt that you will give sport the attention it requires, and indeed continue to be used it as one of the unifying factors for our land.
“We are thrilled to begin this new journey in the country’s timeline with you Mr. President as you embark upon new responsibilities, I wish to assure you and the government of the continued friendship, collaboration, and support from the Olympic and Commonwealth Sport Movement in the country.”
Foloko also claimed that Zambia’s Tokyo 2020 Olympians had been buoyed by messages of support from the incoming President and First Lady while at the Games.
Hichilema, who leads the United Party for National Development, has been elected Zambian President at the sixth attempt, and will take over from Edgar Lungu.
International observers have largely praised the way the vote was conducted.
The NOCZ sent 30 athletes to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, including the women’s football team.
The Copper Queens drew 4-4 with China during their maiden Olympic appearance, and their three matches were not short of action, featuring 18 goals.
Zambia was also represented in athletics, judo, boxing and swimming.