Director of elections, Priscilla Isaacs, expressed satisfaction with the overall organization of the poll. But she says the electoral body is displeased with delays in some parts of the capital.
“We are [pleased] in all other districts except Lusaka. There were about three constituencies in Lusaka, Kanyama and Matero and the other one is Munali where we had issues,” said Isaacs. “Some of our polling staff didn’t follow instructions, [they] did not sleep at the polling stations, did not verify the materials and as a result the polling stations opened late.”
The electoral commission blames some of its officials for the violence saying their tardiness created suspicions and confusion among voters.
Observers had expressed concern about potential violence in the run up to the polls.
Isaacs said the electoral commission regrets the inconvenience experienced by some voters in Lusaka.
“The officers had no excuse not to be at their polling stations on time and be able to open on time,” said Isaacs. “I’m sure if the polling stations had opened on time in these areas where we had disturbances, we wouldn’t have had the disturbances that we had,” she said.
Over five million Zambians were registered to vote in the presidential, parliamentary and local elections. Several international election monitoring agencies observed the election process.
Isaacs said Tuesday’s vote lived up to her commission’s expectations.
“We worked very hard, we received our funding, we put everything in place [and] we got materials in place on time,” she said. “We hope that we can meet our target of having the results [released] within 48 hours.”
She called for patience as electoral officials tabulate the results.
Incumbent President Banda hopes to ride a wave of recent economic success to defeat Michael Sata of the main opposition Patriotic Front.