Nairobi, Aug 12 (EFE).- Voters in Zambia headed Thursday to the polls to elect a new president and members of the parliament, amid severe economic crisis and political tensions.
Sixteen candidates are running for president, but the race is expected to be a close contest between incumbent Edgar Lungu of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and and his main rival Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party of National Development (UPND).
Lungu, 64, took office after he won a 2015 election that was held after the death of his predecessor, Michael Sata.
In 2017, senior opposition leader Hichilema was held in detention for four months on treason charges but was released when the case was dropped.
Hundreds of voters in the copper-rich nation lined up outside polling stations that opened their doors at 6.00 am local time to cast their ballots.
Some 3,000 police officers were deployed across the capital Lusaka to maintain order during the voting, after violent clashes broke out amid electoral campaigns in past weeks.EFE