Zambia Elections : Big lead for Sata after first count

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Opposition Patriotic Front leader Michael Sata has taken an early lead in the first presidential election results announced early Friday by the chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), Justice Florence Mumba.

Announcing the first results of Thursday presidential by-election at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka, Mumba said from the 19 constituencies counted so far, Sata got 187,863 votes, followed by acting president Rupiah Banda of the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) with 96,325.

United Party for National Development (UPND) is third with 26,033 votes and Heritage Party leader Godfrey Miyanda is in the last place with 2,081 votes.

There are 150 constituencies, meaning election results are still being awaited in 131 constituencies where counting is still going on.

From the results announced so far, Sata performed well in the northern Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces, while Banda got most of his support from north-western province and Eastern province, his home village.

The by-election was held to pick a new president following the death of President Levy Mwanawasa in August.

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