Zambia’s governing party on Saturday officially adopted incumbent President Edgar Lungu as its candidate in this year’s general elections.
This comes after he was re-elected as the party’s president during a general conference held last month and subsequent application to contest as president.
The Patriotic Front (PF) officially adopted the Zambian leader during a ceremony held at the Mulungushi International Conference Center in Lusaka, the country’s capital, by presenting him with a certificate of adoption as its candidate for the August 12 elections.
Samuel Mukupa, the party’s national chairperson signed the certificate which was presented to the Zambian president during the meeting of the party’s central committee members.
Davies Mwila, the party’s national secretary said the Zambian leader had followed all the provisions of the party constitution and that his adoption was final.
But his decision to contest the elections has received a sharp reaction from opposition and some civil society organizations who feel he is not eligible to stand because he has already served two terms in line with the constitution.
However, his supporters have defended the move saying the first term could not be counted as a full term as he only completed the term of his predecessor, late President Michael Sata.
Lungu was first elected president during elections held in 2015 necessitated by the death of Sata who emerged winner of the 2011 elections.
Lungu later won the elections held in 2016. He faces stiff competition from Hakainde Hichilema, leader of the main opposition, the United Party for National Development.