All eyes on judiciary to settle Zambia poll dispute
From ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
LUSAKA, (CAJ News) – IN the wake of political violence and media freedom violations, the hearing into the disputed presidential elections in Zambia will resume at the Constitutional Court in Lusaka today (Monday).
Hailed as a model of African democracy, the Southern African country is beset by crisis after opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema (United Party for National Development), challenged the declaration of rival Edgar Lungu (Patriotic Front) as president following the August 11 elections.
Following a campaign plagued by violence and media rights violations, incumbent Lungu was declared winner with over 50 percent of the vote, narrowly defeating Hichilema, a businessman vying for the presidency for a fifth time, who secured over 47 percent.
He claimed the results were rigged. Subsequently, ,Lungu has not been sworn-in.
On Saturday, the constitutional court gave Hichilema two more days to present a petition challenging the outcome.
He is seeking new representatives after his lawyers withdrew as the court had given them only two hours.
The United States expressed disappointed at violence and constraints on media after authorities recently shut down several private broadcasters and arrested journalists.
The European Union appealed to rival parties to engage in dialogue and await the outcome of the judicial ruling.
They are key Zambian donors.
– CAJ News
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