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PF toasts victories as MMD, UPND cry foul

The Patriotic Front (PF) says its victories in three of the five parliamentary by-elections on Thursday is proof that the ruling party’s popularity is on the upswing.
Chibuluma Musonda, the special assistant to the PF secretary-general Edgar Lungu, said in Lusaka yesterday that the victories have put the party on the path to a fresh mandate in the 2016 Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government elections.
The PF won the Vubwi, Zambezi West and Mkushi South constituency by-elections while the MMD and the United Party for National Development (UPND) won the Kasenengwa and Solwezi Central seats, respectively.
Musonda said the party in Government is now in good stead to steer national development.
“It is a sign of confidence people have shown in the leadership of the PF and President Sata,” he said.  “This victory is due to good works of the Government.”
Mr Musonda called on opposition members to join the PF and contribute to national development.
MMD spokesperson Muhabi Lungu claimed that the party could not compete on the same footing with the PF, which had more resources for campaigns.
Mr Lungu congratulated Ms Victoria Kalima on being re-elected as Kasenengwa MP.
“We had a strong candidate in Kasenengwa and she deserved to win. It is only disappointing that we lost Solwezi Central when we had put up a spirited fight,” he said.
UPND spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa has cried foul, claiming vote-buying.
“We reject their victory and they have no moral right to celebrate this victory,” he said.
Mr Mweetwa also commended Ms Kalima for winning the Kasenengwa seat.
Both the MMD and UPND say they will have a postmortem of the elections.
And Inspector-General of Police Stella Libongani has commended stakeholders in the just-ended polls for exhibiting maturity and co-operation and urged political parties to continue being peaceful in all future elections. She also praised police for their hard work and professionalism.