Zambians vote peacefully in closely-fought elections

Observers are braced for trouble when the results are announced on Saturday.

FILE: Zambian flag. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - After a campaign marred by unprecedented violence, Zambians are voting peacefully in closely-fought presidential and parliamentary elections.

Observers are braced for trouble when the results are announced on Saturday.

For the first time a Zambian presidential candidate must win 50% of votes plus one to avoid a runoff.

Following the death of Michael Sata in October 2014, Edgar Lungu won the right to succeed him with a margin of fewer than 28,000 votes.

Crowds mob incumbent #Zambia Prez Lungu after voting at Apostolic Faith church in Lusaka's Chawama constituency. pic.twitter.com/l0g1CKrakv



He has his work cut out for him against his opponent Hakainde Hichilema.

Two Zambia presidents have died in office this past decade, so both candidates have named running mates to succeed them.

Observers report brisk voting with a high turnout from the 14 of the half a million Zambians.

Lungu and Hichilema face off for #Zambia presidency #ZambiaDecides https://t.co/UWjVWu20NS pic.twitter.com/ziiLcYQz9H