Lusaka, Aug 16 (EFE).- Zambia’s opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has won the southern African country’s presidential elections, defeating incumbent Edgar Lungu by more than a million votes, the electoral commission confirmed Monday.
Esau Chulu, the commission’s chairman, said in a televised speech that Hichilema has garnered more than 2.8 million votes against Lungu’s 1.8 million.
Chulu then declared the veteran politician president-elect, 15 year after the leader of the United Party of National Development (UPND) first tried for the copper-rich nation’s presidency.
Hichilema posted a picture on Twitter of himself standing before people with a caption reading “Thank you Zambia.”
Sixteen candidates were running for president, but the race was seen as a close contest between Hichilema and Lungu amid the country’s worst economic recession in years and an increased crackdown on dissent.
The turnout reached 70% as 3.8 million out of the 5.5 million eligible voters cast their ballots, according to the electoral commission.EFE