Monday, August 8, 2016

Zambia: Opposition leader doubts credibility of August elections

With just 3 days to go, Zambia’s main opposition leader says that the August 11 elections will not be free and fair.

Opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, is accusing the government of using repressive laws to restrict his election campaign.

Nobody must assume I must win elections. Work hard to win the elections and accept the results of the election
“ Only yesterday, the president cancelled two of my rallies in Eastern province. Why would he not want us to campaign the way he is campaigning?” he asked while speaking to Reuters.

Hichilema, a wealthy business man, is the leader of the United Party of National Development (UPND) and will be the main challenger to Zambia’s president Edgar Lungu.

Despite the hostilities, Hichilema has urged his supporters not to be intimated and turn out in large numbers saying it was still possible to win elections.

But , African Union (AU) observers say political parties in the country have been able to participate in campaign activities without major disruption and added that the elections can be conducted in a satisfactory manner and candidates should accept any result.

“Nobody must assume I must win elections.Work hard to win the elections and accept the results of the election,” said the leader of the AU observer mission former Nigeria president, Goodluck Jonathan.

The road to elections in the southern Africa country has been marked by a series of violent incidents prompting the electoral commission in July to suspend campaigning for 10 days in two areas, including the capital Lusaka .

Photo published for Zambia’s Lungu Issues Warning on Election-linked Violence
Zambia’s Lungu Issues Warning on Election-linked Violence

While in June, the government came under fire for shutting down a media outlet due to what authorities claimed was unpaid taxes, but ,rights groups opined it was a ploy by the government to silence media ahead of the presidential and parliamentary polls.

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