The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, on Tuesday congratulated the people of Zambia for the peaceful and orderly presidential, parliamentary and local elections.
Ban in a statement made available to the media, also congratulated the Zambians on the successful referendum on the Bill of Rights, held on Aug. 11.
The UN chief recalled Zambia’s history of peaceful elections, and the democratic transition he witnessed when he visited the country in 2012.
Ban reminded all parties, especially political leaders and their supporters, of their responsibility to reject violence and refrain from the use of inflammatory and incendiary language.
He advised them to resolve differences or disputes through constitutional means and in line with international norms and standards.
He said that the UN remains committed to supporting Zambia’s democratic governance and sustainable development.
Ban said that the UN will continue to work closely with the African Union (AU), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Commonwealth and other international partners in that direction.
PANA, however, reported that Zambia’s main opposition party, the United Party for National Development (UPND), has rejected the presidential election results.
The electoral commission had announced the result on Monday and declared the incumbent President Edgar Lungu as winner.
UNPD presidential candidate, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, who came second behind Lungu, said that the UPND would petition the election results at the Constitutional Court this week.
“We will be launching a Constitutional Court petition on the basis of the evidence we have collated and presented to the ECZ (Electoral Commission of Zambia).
“As the Constitution sets out, once we have launched our petition then there must be no inauguration until the matter is settled in the court. This is according to a provision in the new Constitutional Amendment Bill that Edgar Lungu himself assented to just a few months ago,” Hichilema said.
He stated: “Today the PF (Patriotic Front) has affected a coup on Zambia’s democratic process. The will of the people has been changed in an illegal and undemocratic way.
“We submitted evidence before the declaration of the results regarding the gross irregularities that have taken place.
“In any free, fair, transparent and democratic system this would have been enough to prompt a recount in the affected areas but Zambia no longer operates that way,” he said.
The ECZ Chairperson, Justice Essau Chulu, declared President Lungu of the ruling PF as winner of the presidential polls with 1,860,877 votes against his closest rival, Hichilema, who got 1,760,347 votes.