PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says Thursday’s high voter turnout was reminiscent of the way people turned up en masse to vote in 2011.
President Lungu, who was accompanied by his wife Esther, was speaking after he cast his vote at Crawford School in Chawama, Thursday, morning.
They arrived at the polling station shortly after the polling station opened at 06:00 hours and were one of the first people to cast their votes.
The President, who expressed confidence that he would win.
When asked about his impression of the election, he said the huge turnout was reminiscent of the way people turned up in large numbers to vote in 2011.
“My impression is that Zambians are ready to vote, they have turned out in numbers. I saw it even as I was coming here. It’s reminiscent of what happened in 2011 when people turned out in masses like that, I hope that many more people will come and cast their vote and may the best candidate win,” President Lungu said.
President Lungu urged citizens to vote and go back home to wait for the outcome of the elections.
“Let them come and vote and go back home and wait patiently and peacefully for the outcome. I see some politicians are advocating for people to hang around and camp at polling centres, that will just cause chaos. I have set an example, I have voted, I am going home to stay, listen to the radio, newspapers, television and wait for the results, that’s what a good citizen does. So please do not hang around polling stations, it will just bring confusion, congestion and unnecessary anarchy. The best thing to do is cast your vote and go home and sit,” he said.
President Lungu also expressed concern over the unstamped ballot paper which he was given and hoped that such mistakes would not continue as they led to invalid votes.
“Before you proceed about the outcome of results, I noticed when I went to cast my vote that I was given a ballot paper for local government which was not stamped behind and I had to alert the officer that this is not a valid vote and he did the dutiful thing and stamped it. So those of you who are voting, watch out for such lapses, I hope they are inadvertent and only happened to myself because I have heard that a vote which does not have a stamp at the back is not valid, a vote which does not have a cross in the box is not valid. So there are all these things to look out for,” he noted.
“What I saw this morning indicates that by the time they are exhausted in the afternoon, there may be so many silly mistakes so let’s avoid that.”