Lusaka - International observers have called for calm in Zambia as the country eagerly awaits the announcement of results from the August 11 presidential elections.
According to The Post, observer missions, including the European and African Unions, have urged Zambian citizens to remain peaceful as the votes are tallied by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).
"We further appeal to all the stakeholders to refrain from making any utterances and or performing acts that could trigger tensions and negatively affect the electoral environment. We encourage political parties and other stakeholders to cherish and embrace peace, tolerance and non-violence during the pre-election and this post-election phase of the electoral process, a virtue for which Zambia is known," read part of a statement released by the undersigned Heads of Election Observation Missions.
As of Monday, August 15, President Edgar Lungu was shown to be in the lead, with 85% of constituencies having been counted.
Reports on Monday indicated that the main opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, had demanded a recount in a key constituency due to alleged irregularities involved in the tallying of votes.
According to the United Party for National Development (UPND) leader, his party demanded a recount in the Lusaka district, "for the sake of free, fair, credible and transparent elections".
With 50.14%, Lungu was placed just ahead of Hichilema, with 47.7%, following the collation of votes from 132 of the 156 constituencies in the southern African nation.
The UPND reported that data from its own counting system had shown that Hichilema had beaten Lungu, based on approximately 80% of the votes counted.
Both the Electoral Commission and the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) have since rejected Hichilema's claims, stating that the opposition leader was making inflammatory statements in a bid to rid himself of frustrations.