PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu was legitimately elected, JCTR Executive Director Father Leonard Chiti has told the BBC’s Focus on Africa.
Fr Chiti told the BBC that according to the election rules President Lungu needed more than 50 per cent to be declared winner.
He said the results were accurate and that the observers and monitors were actually taking pictures as they were posted outside the polling stations which were transmitted via social media so there was no disputing what came through and how people voted around the country.
Fr Chiti said, as an election watchdog, he was very convinced that the verdict was accurate because monitors who were spread across the country had been sending in results as they were being announced at the different polling stations.
However, Fr Chiti described the race for the presidency as tight because the voting pattern divided the country into two as the people of North and East voted for the PF while the people from South and West voted for the opposition UPND.
He said it was therefore incumbent upon the newly elected president needed to immediately reach out to his nearest rival Hakainde Hichilema and offer commiseration which might be a good gesture because it would help the defeated candidates to accept the results and see them as a reflection and as the will of the people .
Fr Chiti further said he was pretty sure that Hichilema would challenge the results by taking the matter to court because he was not happy with the election results and that would not surprise him.
He added that earlier Mr Hichilema had gone to court to stop the counting of the presidential results because he was not happy with the way the counting and transmission of results were done.