The Patriotic Front (PF) should do an introspection following the party’s electoral defeat in last Thursday’s general election.
The Patriotic Front F lost to the United Party for National Development (UPND), the then largest opposition political party in the country. In the August 12, 2021 general election, Hakainde Hichilema, The President elect polled 2,810,757 votes against his closest rival president Edgar Chagwa Lungu who polled 1,814,201 votes.
The UPND won 83 parliamentary seats out of 156 elective seats and the PF garnered 61 parliamentary seats. The UPND maintained its grip in its strongholds namely Southern, Western and North Western provinces winning with huge margins. The ruling UPND won some seats in Eastern, Lusaka, Copperbelt, Muchinga, Luapula and Northern provinces which were perceived to be the PF strongholds.
The UPND won the recently held general election with the message premised on revamping the ailing economy and the creation of employment opportunities for the people particularly the youths. On the other hand, the PF campaign message mainly centred on scoring success in infrastructure development such as construction of schools, hospitals and roads, among others.
The country’s economy has been adversely affected by the effects of coronavirus. The effects of coronavirus on the national economy has culminated in the high prices of goods and services beyond the affordability of majority Zambians. The peaceful transition of power following president Lungu’s defeat in the presidential election is timely and a true measure of leadership.
Former president Lungu accepted defeat and he congratulated Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, the President elect on the latter’s victory. This entails true democracy. Whatever might have contributed to the PF defeat in the recently held general election is water under the bridge. It is high time the party gets united, reflect on the defeat and move on. The Patriotic Front can contribute by providing checks and balances in parliament. This is not the time to point fingers at one another for the Patriotic Front’s electoral defeat.
ELEMIYA PHIRI Lusaka