Zambia’s electoral commission has declared opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema winner of last week’s presidential election.
Mr Hichilema defeated his main rival, the outgoing President Edgar Lungu, by more than a million votes.
In its final tally, the electoral commission said Mr Hichilema had won 2,810,777 votes to Mr Lungu’s 1,814,201 out of over seven million registered voters.
“I therefore declare Hichilema to be president of Zambia,” commission chairman Esau Chulu announced the results centre in Lusaka.
His supporters have been celebrating on the streets of the capital, Lusaka.
— Hakainde Hichilema (@HHichilema) August 16, 2021
This year’s presidential election was earlier predicted to be very close between President Lungu, 64, and Hichilema, 59.
Hichilema was backed by an alliance of 10 parties in this presidential election.
Earlier, Mr Lungu alleged that the elections were not free and fair.
He said election officials from his Patriotic Front party had been chased from polling stations, leaving votes unprotected.
In response, Mr Hichilema’s United Party for National Development said the statement was the “desperate final act of an outgoing administration”.
The landslide win means Mr Hichilema will not have to fight a run-off contest. It was Mr Hichilema’s sixth attempt at winning the presidency.
Zambia’s predominantly young electorate were reportedly key in deciding the outcome of the election as they push for improvements to the economic situation and better job opportunities.