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Zambian president, opposition leader agree to dialogue


Zambia's President Edgar Lungu and jailed main opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema have agreed to meet and dialogue to end months of rivalry following last August's disputed presidential election, a Commonwealth official said Wednesday, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

 

Secretary-General Patricia Scotland told a media conference in capital Lusaka that she had met the two warring leaders at different times to discuss the possibilities of finding a common ground in order to end political differences between the two.

 

"During the meetings, the two leaders expressed concerns which can only be resolved not only by reviewing, but also harmonizing the electoral law and the new constitution to meet the Commonwealth standards," she said.

 

Scotland added that the review of the electoral law and the constitution would be made during the dialogue which would be facilitated by a mediator sent by the intergovernmental organization.

 

"In the coming weeks, the Commonwealth Secretariat will appoint a mediator who will travel to Zambia facilitate the dialogue in Lusaka," she said.

 

The opposition United Party for National Development where Hichilema is president has been refusing to recognize the legitimacy of Lungu's election on Aug. 11, 2016 until a petition, which was rejected by the constitutional court on a technicality, is heard.

 

Hakainde Hichilema was jailed on April 10 after being accused of conspiring to overthrow the government.

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