Zambian President Edgar Lungu casts his ballot in Chawama Township of Lusaka in August 12, 2021

Why a losing President must publicly concede defeat

By George Sichula in Zambia

On November 5, 1896, William Jennings Bryan sent a telegram congratulating William McKinley on winning the election and stating in the language of a courtroom lawyer, we have submitted the issue to the American people and their will is law.”

McKinley replied by telegram the very next day acknowledging “receipt of your courteous message”

Concessions have three different effects, each valuable in its own way;

  1. They reduce uncertainty over succession. This may seem like a minor concern in a stable democracy, but its always there under the surface.
  2. They make the election appear legitimate. No one likes to lose. But by acknowledging that the people have spoken, the loser affirms that the process was basically fair.
  3. Concessions say that the losing candidate intends to treat the new Government as duly constituted by law. In that sense, its a renunciation of open resistance.

As National Democratic Congress party on the Copperbelt, we would like to thank all the Presidents who have taken time to concede defeat on camera. This shows how selfless you are.

Our prayer is that let other remaining Presidents do the same so that we promote unity in the nation. There is no need for anyone to make it difficulty for the UPND Alliance to govern.

Saturday 14th August 2021

George Sichula
NDC Copperbelt Province Chairman

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