LUSAKA: Zambia’s ruling party candidate Edgar Lungu on Friday maintained a slight lead in the race to replace the late president Michael Sata, with 80 percent of constituencies counted.
Defense Minister Lungu was two percentage points ahead of his closest rival, economist Hakainde Hichilema, according to the latest results released by the Electoral Commission of Zambia.
With 121 of the 150 constituencies tallied, Lungu – the governing Patriotic Front’s candidate – was leading with 701,089 or 48.72, closely followed by opposition leader Hichilema of the United Party for National Development who polled 675,185 votes or 46.85 percent.
Voting was extended by two days after electoral authorities faced “unprecedented challenges” in delivering voting material to some remote areas in the copper-rich southern African nation.
Hichilema, a wealthy businessman, who is contesting the presidency for the fourth time, cried fraud on the first day of voting, complaining about the extension of voting and about acts of violence by ruling PF supporters.