On 15 August, the Election Commission of Zambia (ECZ) announced that Zambian President Edgar Lungu had won re-election to a full five-year term, gaining 50.35% of the national vote in presidential elections held on 11 August. By securing a clear majority President Lungu avoided a run-off election with his main opponent Hakainde Hichilema of the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND). However, the UPND has rejected the outcome of the election, claiming it has evidence that the ECZ colluded with Lungu’s governing Patriotic Front (PF) party to rig the vote against Hichilema. Both the PF party and the ECZ have denied the UPND’s allegations. The UPND is now likely to challenge the results at the Constitutional Court. Given political interference in the judiciary it is unlikely that the Constitutional Court will annul the election results.
Publisher: EXX Africa
Following disputed elections and an acrimonious political campaign, a weaker government under President Lungu will struggle to secure concessions from the IMF or to contain a looming banking crisis, and may be forced to turn to Chinese investors to bankroll a recovery of the copper-driven economy.