President Lungu of Zambia Concedes defeat
Zambian President Edgar Lungu conceded defeat on Monday on a radio address after a landslide election win by opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, marking the southern African country’s third peaceful handover of power to an opposition party.
“I would therefore like to congratulate my brother Hichilema for becoming the seventh republican president,” he said in the morning radio address.
Lungu promised to comply with the “constitutional provision for a peaceful transition of power”.
The 64-year-old, who came to power in 2015, said that when he had to serve out the term of his predecessor Michael Sata who died in office, that victory had been “unexpected” and he “accepted it with humility and gratitude”.
“I want to thank you, Zambian people, for giving me a great opportunity to be your president. I will forever cherish and appreciate the authority you invested in me.” He said.
“All I wanted to do was to serve my country to the best of my abilities,” he said, admitting that there are challenges on the way.
Lungu had cried foul on Saturday, calling the election “not free and fair” after violence against ruling Patriotic Front party agents in three provinces, raising fear that he was not going or ready to concede defeat.
The election defeat is the conclusion of a bitter rivalry between the two.