x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Banda wins Zambia bid

Zambia's ruling party's candidate Rupiah Banda is declared the winner of a hard-fought presidential race.

LUSAKA // Zambia's ruling party called for calm in the country today, after its candidate, Rupiah Banda, was declared the winner of a hard-fought presidential race that sparked claims of vote fraud. "We've been expecting it, but there's nothing like actually getting it," Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika, a top official in the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), said of the victory. "We do understand that this is a moment of high emotion and tension, but we expect that all our leaders and citizens will calm down and be able to move forward in unity and peace," he told reporters.

Mr Banda scored a narrow victory over the main opposition candidate Michael Sata, who has already raised claims of vote fraud and warned that he would not accept a defeat. Police were stationed at key points around the city, after scores of Mr Sata's supporters set fire to market stalls and threw stones in the streets of a Lusaka slum during the night. Police used tear gas to put down the protest.