Zambia Votes As Campaign Unrest Tests Stability

Zambia votes as campaign unrest tests stability

LUSAKA, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 11th Augst,2016) - Zambians went to the polls on Thursday shaken by an election campaign of "unprecedented" violence that could threaten the country's relative stability and its democratic record. Just 18 months after President Edgar Lungu narrowly won office in a snap election, he and his main rival Hakainde Hichilema face off again in a field of nine candidates.

Only 27,757 votes separated the two candidates in the 2015 ballot. At least three people have been killed during the campaign, with regular clashes erupting between supporters of Lungu's Patriotic Front (PF) and Hichilema's United Party for National Development (UPND). Ahead of the vote, the election commission issued an emergency statement describing the unrest as "unprecedented" and warning it had "marred Zambia's historic record of peaceful elections". Last month, campaigning was halted in Lusaka for 10 days to reduce the violence.