Hakainde Hichilema, the 59-year old businessman contesting the presidency for the sixth time, has more than 2.3 million votes to President Edgar Lungu’s 1.4 million votes, according to results announced Sunday by the Electoral Commission of Zambia.
Results from 15 of the country's 156 constituencies gave opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema 171,604 votes versus the 110,178 garnered by President Edgar Lungu, who is running for a second five-year term.
Partial and regional tallies start to trickle in on Friday, with final consolidated results expected by Sunday, although President Edgar Lungu's party hints it is heading for victory.
Zambia is voting in a showdown between President Edgar Lungu and opposition rival Hakainde Hichilema after a campaign dominated by economic woes and the coronavirus pandemic.
In order to curb the political violence of the past two days, President Edgar Lungu said he had authorised the military, including the army and air force, to help the police.
Authorities have declared 21 days of mourning for the liberation hero Kenneth Kaunda who ruled from 1964, after the southern African nation won its independence from Britain, until 1991.
Opposition leaders are wary about the new laws, arguing they will lead to internet shutdowns and invasion of privacy of internet users.
The poor African nation has struggled to convince wealthy banks and investment funds to postpone debt repayments.
Zambia has seen its external debt surge to nearly $12 billion this year.
The African country struggles to convince lenders that it cannot pay its debt, preferring to divert money to saving lives at home.
Hedge funds and banks are not ready to give even temporary debt relief to one of the poorest countries in the world.
The African country wants to divert resources to take care of its people during the pandemic.
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