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Projecto Eleições Africanas: seu portal autorizado para informação e conhecimento sobre Eleições Africanas. Cobrindo eleições por toda Áfrca.

Le projet sur les elections en Afrique: votre portail exclusif et credible d'information et de connaissance en ligne, qui couvre les élections à travers le continent
News
Date:11 Aug 2016
Zambia: Polls close in violent free elections

Voting has officially ended in Zambians general elections to choose a president for the second time in less than two years.

Polling opened at 06:00 local time (04:00 GMT) and closed at 18:00 GMT with the first results within 48 hours of the close of polls.

The death of President Michael Sata in October 2014 initiated a by-election which Edgar Lungu of the Patriotic Front (PF), Zambia’s ruling party, won with just 27,000 vote margin. Aside the presidential polls, Zambians voted for members of parliament and municipal council representatives, as well as a referendum on whether to amend the Bill of Rights modalities for subsequent constitutional amendments.

The elections have been generally peaceful. Voting progressed in a calm atmosphere despite long queues witnessed at polling stations.

Voter turnout is expected to far exceed the 32% recorded in last year’s by-election in January.

African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) Observer Missions have expressed satisfaction with the election so far. According to them they have not witnessed any electoral incidence in all polling centres they visited.

Ex Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, Head of the AU Observer Mission tweeted with images “I witnessed the opening of a polling station and first ballots cast in several others early this morning in Lusaka”.

The Head of the EU Mission, Cecily Kyenge expressed her joy about the voter turn-out.

“We are happy to see so many people coming to vote – it shows that Zambians understand the importance of elections, and they value their democratic rights,” she stated.

The two leading candidates, incumbent President Edgar Lungu and Hakainde Hichilema as well as the only woman in the race, Edith Nawakwi have all cast their ballots. They all expressed satisfaction with the process.
Voters, on their part, are satisfied with the elections despites the few complaints.

“Namushi (@ThaNewMe): I'm concerned that ECZ has allowed the word "official" to be written on the back of ballots in place of the ECZ stamp. #ZambiaDecides” a voter tweeted

This first time voter expressed her dissatisfaction with the indelible ink.

“Beso the Virgo ‏@Bubbles_Beso I also freaked out when I saw the ink getting darker on my nail&skin 😭😭 I thought my already weird looking thumb was rotting #ZambiaDecides”.

Other voters called on the rest to be peaceful since they are all one people.

“Lawrence Mwale ‏@Mkay_Legends #ZambiaDecides praying for free, fare and nonviolent elections, brothers and sisters..,remember it One Zambia one nation”.

Even though nine candidates are running for the presidency, it is is seen as a two-horse race between incumbent President Lungu of the Patriotic Front and Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPND). Experts say there will be a run-off as no candidate is likely to garner the 50%+1 of votes cast to win the polls which the new electoral laws requires.

A total of 6.7 million are eligible to vote in the polls. Out of this, 3,375,009 are females, while 3,335,446 are males. Some 1.7 million electorates were first time voters.

The elections is the first to be held under the new electoral legal framework and will be the strongest test to the copper-rich nation as one of the most stable and developed democracies in Africa.

A second round will be held within 37 days if any of the candidates fail to garner the required 50%+1 votes cast


AEP

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