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Zambia’s Lungu sworn in as new president

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Zambia’s newly elected President Edgar Lungu

Zambia’s newly elected President Edgar Lungu has been sworn in after winning a close race against opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema.

Lungu, who is a former defense minister from the ruling Patriotic Front, won the presidential poll on Saturday amid allegation of electoral fraud made by Hichilema.

Lungu’s rival claimed there had been vote rigging after gaining fewer than 28,000 votes compared to Lungu.

Thousands of Zambians attended his swearing-in ceremony in the national stadium in the capital, Lusaka, where Lungu took the oath office and made a speech.

Lungu, who was elected when late president, Michael Sata, died before finishing his term, will hold the position until upcoming general elections to be held on September 2016.

Sata was Zambia’s president from September 2011 until his October 2014 death, the cause of which remains undisclosed.

Lungu pledged that a new “people driven” constitution, which was one of Sata’s unmet vows, will be drafted soon. The new president also mentioned that he is going to “continue with president Sata’s legacy,” and promised to boost the nation’s economy, utilizing mining, tourism, and agricultural sectors.

Lungu is Zambia’s sixth president since independence from Britain in 1964.

The country holds one of the world’s largest supplies of copper. The majority of its 14 million people, however, live in abject poverty.



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