By Venus N Msyani, Concerned citizen
As the August 12 election approaches help Zambia leave no stone unturned. It has come to light that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has not done enough job on educating people on 50%+1 vote clause.
Some Zambians still don’t understand why others say Hakainde Hichilema lost to president Edgar Lungu by 13 000 votes in the 2016 general election and ignoring them is a threat to post August 12 election peace.
To make the matter worse, even the president himself seem not to believe that he won by that number.
Various comments on the article Simple math favors opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, which also appeared under the headline The real battle is between the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) and the Ruling Patriotic Front (PF) on Lusaka Times lead to this conclusion. And also, a post on Zambian Eye news.
“I stopped reading at “In the 2016 general election Hakainde lost again but managed to cut the margin to half. He lost by only about 13 000 votes.” This is clearly Under 5 thinking at it’s why Under 5 supporters will cry. Over 100, 000 is now 13 000? Anyway, let me just end here.” Someone with a pseudonym Kawasaki commented.
Another comment by another pseudonym Wondering: I thought HH lost by a margin of about 100,000 votes in 2016? I stand to be corrected? Where has the 13,000 come from?
“I won by 100 000 in 2016 and this time around I will win by 500 000 votes.” Zambian Eye News quotes president Edgar Lungu.
Talking about it. 6,698,372 registered to vote in 2016 and 3, 695,710 cast their votes. The Patriotic Front (PF) received 1,860,877 votes while United Party for National Development (UPND) received 1,760,347 and the rest went to miscellaneous parties.
Under the 50%+1 clause, one needs to cross the line, which is 50% of the votes in order to win the Zambian presidency. Hence, what matters under the 50%+1vote clause is the percentage above the line.
It is true the vote difference in 2016 was a little bit above a hundred thousand but what made Lungu a winner was +0.35%. Otherwise, the election was headed for a rerun.
Edgar Lungu won by about 13 000 votes, which is a total vote cast (3,695,7100) times 0.35/100. In short, 13000 votes are votes that helped Lungu meet the 50%+1 clause.
Sounds simple but not to be taken for granted. Anyone with a better understanding or explanation should not hesitate to share. No stone should be left unturned to avoid post-election confusion.