BRITISH High Commissioner to Zambia James Thornton has urged President Edgar Lungu and opposition UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema to work together to reconcile and unite the country in the aftermath of a tightly contested election.
And Mr Thornton said his government had confidence in the election results announced by ECZ chairperson Justice Irene Mambilima whom he described as a “lady of unimpeachable integrity”.
Mr Thornton said the close election result has seemingly left the country divided than it was before. In a press statement, the high commissioner congratulated Mr Lungu for winning the election.
“This close election has made Zambia seem a little more divided than before. I hope that both the President and HH can work together to create unity and reconciliation,” he said.
Mr Thornton commended losing candidates, in particular Mr Hichilema, for calling for calm among UPND supporters and avoid engaging in violence.
He said the British government would continue to work with President Lungu and his administration for further national development.
Mr Thornton also congratulated the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) for conducting the election in a professional manner.
He said the election was transparent as the entire electoral process had checks to prevent fraud, adding that political party agents observed the voting and tallying process. “Organising the election at short notice was a tough job. They had to recruit and train around 40,000 temporary staff to run the polling stations; those whom I observed seemed to be doing a very good job. The weather significantly complicated the running of the election,” he said.