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Jonathan urges Zambians to maintain peace, use legal processes to resolve disputed election results

By The Citizen
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Head of the African Union Election Observer Mission (AUEOM) to Zambia's 2016 general elections, former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has urged Zambians to maintain the exemplary peace they

displayed during the last Thursday's general elections as they await the final results of the polling exercise.

The former President also appealed to candidates, political parties as well as other stakeholders to respect the will of the Zambian people and seek to uphold the laws of the land by taking advantage of legally established channels should there be a dispute on the outcome of the process.

There is a sense of unease in the Southern Africa nation as the results of the keenly contested presidential ballot is being tallied by the Electoral Commission of Zambia to determine who gets elected between the two frontrunners,; the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) candidate Hakainde Hichilema  and the incumbent President and candidate of the Patriotic Front (PF), Mr. Edgar Lungu.

Presenting AUEOM's preliminary statement today, Jonathan charged Zambians to remain law abiding as they await the outcome of the electoral process.

He said: 'The AUEOM concludes that the elections have been conducted in a peaceful atmosphere within the framework that satisfactorily meets the continental and regional principles of democratic elections. The AUEOM encourages all parties to resort to legally established channels should there be a dispute on the outcome of the process.

'As the ECZ completes the final phases of the electoral process, the AUEOM implores all political parties, candidates and all Zambians to preserve peace and security in the country in furtherance of the country's acclaimed status as a peaceful nation since independence. The AU long-long term observers will continue to observe the post-electiral process.'

According to Jonathan, AUEOM observed the voting process in 390 polling stations, out of 7,700 stations in the country, stressing that the Mission was satisfied with the process in most polling stations visited.

He added that the officials of the electoral body performed their duties competently, and in accordance with the laws and electoral regulations of Zambia.

Before the elections, the AUEOM noted that the general political environment was calm and peaceful despite isolated  incidents of violence and political intolerance reported in Lusaka and Namwala District in Southern Province.