Edgar Lungu Is Zambia’s Newest President

Edgar Lungu, former defense minister of Zambia, has won the recently concluded Zambian presidential elections, succeeding former president, Michael Sata, who passed away last year from an undisclosed illness.

Lungu won the majority of votes at 48.3 percent, defeating his closest rival, Hakainde Hichilema, who received 46.7 percent of the votes. Hichilema has described Tuesday’s election as “stolen,” according to BBC, but no reports have been released on whether the defeated presidential candidate will contest the results of the vote. Hichilema has accused the electoral commission of rigging the results of the election in favor of Lungu.

A prominent Zambian lawyer, Lungu will succeed the interim rule of Guy Scott, a white Zambian of Scottish descent. Scott was disallowed by the commission to officially run for the position since his parents were not of Zambian ancestry.

Although Scott has kept close relations with the late Sata, ties between him and the newly-elected president has been described by BBC as being “less than cordial,” despite the two belonging to the same political party. Last November, Scott fired Lungu from his previous position as the Patriotic Front’s secretary-general. His dismissal from the position has led citizens to engage in riotous activities across the country.

Telegraph has comprehensively covered Lungu’s political journey over the months preceding his presidency. The British paper has reported that Lungu, then a mere party official, was reprimanded for crying at Michael Sata’s funeral last year.

During the campaigns, Lungu has also refused to debate his fellow candidates, saying “[I]t’s an elitist debate and just the candidates trying to show off. I don’t care if I’m a good or bad speaker. I won’t be put in a box.”

Hichilema, a prominent Zambian millionaire, expressed his dismay over the results of the election. In front of reporters, Hichilema declared, “If Edgar Lungu is sworn in as president he will certainly be an illegitimate president going by what we have discovered at the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).”

“He truly knows that the results that have been given to him by individuals at the ECZ are not from the citizens who voted. A stolen election does not reflect the will of the people and is not going to deliver,” Hichilema adds.

Edgar Lungu will serve the remainder of Sata’s office until the presidential elections of 2016.

[Image from Photo Unit/Flickr]