THE church has validated the election of President Edgar Lungu as opposed to claims by UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema that the process was marred with irregularities.
A coalition of church mother bodies and faith based organisations, the Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG) said it had representation in all polling stations and did not see irregularities Mr Hichilema complained about.
CCMG said Zambians should have considerable confidence that the official election results announced by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) reflected ballots based on its parallel voter tabulation (PVT).
The coalition comprises Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ), Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ), Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR), Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) and Caritas Zambia.
According to a press statement, CCMG said independent verification of the official results showed that not only were ECZ’s official results consistent with Parallel Votes Tabulation (PVT) estimates but also the voting and counting proceeded with only minor issues at the overwhelming majority of polling stations and streams.
“The Patriotic Front (PF) had agents at 93 per cent of polling stations during counting and at just three per cent of those stations did PF party agents not sign the official results, while at 97 per cent of stations did the UPND party agents not sign the official results form,” the statement said.
The CCMG said at 98 per cent of polling stations all political party agents present were given a copy of the official results form and also at 98 per cent of polling stations the official results were also posted at polling stations for the public.
CCMG said the posting of official results demonstrated that the electoral process was credible.
“The CCMG has since called on the winners to be magnanimous in victory and for those who did not make it this time to recognise that this is not the country’s last election, but that voters will go to the polls again in 2016, hence all candidates and parties will have another opportunity to convince voters that they have the best policies for the country and would make the best representatives of the people,” the statement said.
CCMG expressed concern with the low voter turnout despite the credibility of electoral processes.
They said low voter participation undermined the credibility of the democratic institutions and elected leaders.
The CCMG said there was need for more analysis to understand the reason why voters did not participate and how to ensure a higher voter turnout in 2016.