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“Rigged” election result sparks protest in Zambia

Aug 16, 2016, 5:39 AM EDT
Zambia's President Edgar Lungu
(Source: UNIDO/flickr)

Zambian police arrested 133 protesters, who took to streets after the country’s main opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema accused President Edgar Lungu of rigging the elections to secure a second term in the presidential office. Police said that the protesters clashed with the supporters of the ruling party and damaged their properties.
Earlier, Lungu won 50.35 percent of the votes to beat his main opponent Hichilema, who bagged 47.67 percent of the votes, writes Al Jazeera. Hichilema accused the electoral commission of colluding with the ruling party and manipulating the results in a tightrope contest.
Hichilema’s United Party for National Development (U.P.N.D.) rejected the election results, saying that it will appeal at the Constitutional Court, reports Reuters. However, the news of an outright winner in Zambia’s election triggered positive investor sentiment, which strengthened the Kwacha by 2.5 percent on Tuesday.
Zambia, one of Africa’s most stable democracies, has recently witnessed an economic downturn in the wake of tanking commodity prices. While the opposition blames the country’s poor economy on Lungu, the president claims to have taken a number of measures in the direction of diversifying copper-dependent economy.