Zambian Elections 2021: Lungu calls for calm, patience

APA-Lusaka (Zambia)

President Edgar Lungu called for calm on Thursday as he joined other Zambians to vote in the country’s seventh general elections since the advent of multi-party politics in 1991.

Accompanied by his wife Esther, Lungu cast his vote at a polling station in Lusaka’s Chawana township. 

"Please let them come and vote and go back home and stay and wait patiently and peacefully for the outcome" Lungu told journalists after casting his vote.

Accusing some of his opponents of allegedly trying to fuel chaos on voting day, the Zambian leader called on his compatriots to vote peacefully and shun violence.

"I hear some politicians that are asking people to hang around the polling centres that will just cause chaos,” said Lungu who was confident that he would cruise to victory in a poll in which his main rival is Hakainde Hichilema, leader of the main opposition United Party for National Development (UPND).  

Members of Lungu’s Patriotic Front and opposition UPND supporters have in recent days clashed in the capital Lusaka and other parts of Zambia as political tensions simmered ahead of the elections.

Lungu has been in power since 2015 following a disputed snap presidential election to finish the term of his predecessor Michael Sata who died in office. 

He was then elected to a full five-year term in 2016 in another disputed poll.

Zambia, which gained independence in 1964 but was a one-party state since 1973, held its first multi-party post-independence general elections in 1991. 

Other general elections were in 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016.

There were snap presidential elections in 2008 and 2015 following the deaths of former presidents Levy Mwanawasa and Sata in 2008 and 2014, respectively.


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