Zambians start voting in elections seen as test of democracy

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LUSAKA, Zambia (AP) — Zambians are voting in a tense election that the president and his main rival have said is a test of the southern African country’s reputation as a stable democracy. Polling began early Thursday morning across the country at more than 12,000 polling stations, including inside prisons. More than 7 million people, or over 83% of eligible voters, have registered to vote, according to the Electoral Commission of Zambia. President Edgar Lungu is counting winning votes on his record of mainly Chinese-funded infrastructure developments and the distribution of agricultural inputs such as seeds and fertilizers to millions of farmers. However, his chances could be hurt by a debilitating economic tailspin. Lungu, who came to power in 2015 remains optimistic.

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