Malawi President Arthur Peter Mutharika was among the first heads of state to congratulate Zambia President Edgar Chagwa Lungu for emerging victorious in last Thursday’s poll even though the opposition was still crying foul.
According to results announced yesterday by Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), Lungu narrowly defeated opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema and managed to avoid a rerun after passing the 50+1 threshold by a fraction.
Writing on his official Facebook account, Peter Mutharika observed how the Zambia elections continue to strengthen democracy in this part of Africa.
“Elections in any democratic setting fully underline the participation of the citizenry in governance issues. To the people of Zambia, I say; well done for a peaceful election process. Whether your candidate has won or not, may you place the aspirations of your nation ahead of everything,” reads part of the message.
According to Malawi News Agency reporting, President Mutharika’s message has caught the eye of many Zambians who flooded his page to express gratitude on his best wishes to the people of Zambia.
Several regional and global observers have described the polls as free and fair.
The Malawi leader commended the people of Zambia for a peaceful election process which despite few political tensions was largely in order.
Lungu is expected to be sworn in for his own full term later his week. He came to power last year following the death of late Michael Sata who ruled Zambia from 2011.
President Peter Mutharika sees parallels from this outcome to his own come 2019. He has opposition that is disorganized and led by Lazarus Chakwera who cannot get out of his own way within the MCP. He has managed to build strong opposition within his own party.
Peter Mutharika sees himself expanding his support in the populous Southern Region. If he can knock off some districts in the Northern region and some parts of Lilongwe, He is sure he will increase his Margins and win an easier election come 2019.