Raila congratulates Zambian opposition chief for winning hotly contested poll

Raila congratulates Zambian opposition chief for winning hotly contested poll

Raila Odinga, the leader of the ODM party, has congratulated his friend and former Zambian opposition chief Hakainde Hichilema on his election as the country’s new President. Taking to Twitter, the former Prime Minister stated that Zambia had overcome a public health challenge to hold a successful election. “A free, fair, credible and verifiable election always certainly return the will of the people,” Raila Tweeted on Monday, “It is my hope that this election strengthens the democratic life of your Zambia, brings more prosperity to the people and reminds fellow Africans elsewhere that nothing is impossible.”  Mr Hichilema easily defeated his main opponent, outgoing President Edgar Lungu, by over a million votes. It was his sixth attempt at the country’s top job, and his victory elicited raucous celebrations in the streets of Lusaka. Earlier, Mr.Lungu, the outed leader, claimed that the elections were not free and fair. He claimed that election officials from his Patriotic Front party were chased out of polling places, leaving votes unprotected. Mr. Hichilema’s United Party for National Development responded by calling the statement a “desperate final act of an outgoing administration.” Zambia’s president-elect Hakainde Hichilema addresses a crowd during a past campaign event.  Closer home Raila will be making his fifth attempt at the country’s top job- that is if he decides to vie in 2022.  In 2007, he ran against the then President Mwai Kibaki, losing in a controversial election.  In 2013, he ran again, this time, losing to President Uhuru Kenyatta who would also be declared winner in the 2017 General Election.  This time round however, the ODM leader finds himself in government, thanks to the handshake and new-found bromance with President Kenyatta.  He is yet to announce his presidential bid although he has not shied away from speaking about the kind of leadership he expects in 2022. 

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