Zambian President Edgar Lungu has declared Thursday’s presidential and parliamentary election “not free and fair” after incidents of violence in three provinces.
Lungu is trailing his main contender Hakainde Hichilema in early results from the electoral commission.
Lungu says the Patriotic Front party that he leads is consulting on its next course of action. However, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, COMESA, says it has not noted any irregularities in Zambia’s presidential election.
The regional bloc sent an observer mission for the polls. 20% of constituencies have been processed so far.
The mission commended the efforts made by the Electoral Commission of Zambia to plan and organise the 2021 elections amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It says it appreciated the transparency identification process, however it lengthened the voting process.
Despite the generally peaceful environment during the voting, the mission noted that there were isolated cases of violence. COMESA officials also called for the allowance of equal opportunity in public media for all candidates and parties to engage with the public for future elections.
Additional report by Reuters.