The British High Commissioner James Thornton has commented on the result of the 2015 presidential by-election in Zambia. He said:
“First let me congratulate the Electoral Commission of Zambia. Organising the election at short notice was a tough job. They had to recruit and train around 40,000 temporary staff to run the polling stations; those whom I observed seemed to be doing a very good job. The weather significantly complicated the running of the election.
“The election process itself had numerous checks in it to prevent fraud. And it was very transparent. Party agents were able to observe all the voting and key elements of the tallying process.
“I wish to commend Justice Mambilina. She is a lady of unimpeachable integrity. We can have confidence in an election result that she has announced.
“Second, let me congratulate the winner of the election, Edgar Lungu. I look forward to attending his inauguration tomorrow. The British Government will work with him and his government for the further development of this country.
“Third, let me offer my commiserations to the losers, and in particular to Hakainde Hichilema and his supporters. It is hard to come close yet not to win. I welcome the fact that HH has called for his supporters to remain calm and avoid violence.
“Lastly, this close election has made Zambia seem a little more divided than before. I hope that both the President-Elect and HH can work to create unity and reconciliation.”