Supporters of the United Party for National Development opposition party attend an election rally on the eve of the country's presidential elections in Lusaka, Zambia, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Moses Mwape)
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Zambians went to the polls 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).Constitutional changes mean that the winner must now secure more than 50 percent of the vote, meaning a second round run-off could be held within weeks, heightening hostilities further.About 60 percent of the population in Zambia lives below the poverty line, according to the World Bank.
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