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Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, Associated Press
Zambian Acting President Guy Scott, right, casts his vote while an election official looks on, during election day in Lusaka, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. Zambians are voting to choose a new leader following the death of Michael Sata, 77, who died Oct. 2014, in a London hospital following a long illness, after serving as President of the Southern African country since 2011.

LUSAKA, Zambia — Candidates vying to replace Zambia's late President Michael Sata have cast their ballots along with thousands of other voters in Tuesday's presidential election.

One of the main presidential contenders, Edgar Lungu of the ruling Patriotic Front party, voted in the capital Lusaka as his supporters cheered him on in the rain.

"I have promised Zambia that I will continue where the president left off," said Lungu, also promising to accept the election outcome.

Lungu, in charge of Zambia's justice and defense ministries, is portraying himself as a candidate for continuity, saying he wants to complete economic development projects initiated by Sata.

Leader of the opposition United Party for National Development, Hakainde Hichilema, accused the Electoral Commission of Zambia of delivering election material late in the Western province. Hichileme, an economist who has promised to revamp Zambia's economy, asked the commission to extend voting hours.

Nevers Mumba, the leader of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy, said the vote was "an opportunity to correct the mistakes of this government."

Zambians lined up at polling stations to vote for a successor to Sata, who died in October after a long illness. The country has been led since Sata's death by acting President Guy Scott, a white Zambian of Scottish descent who is not a candidate. Scott is not entitled to become president under Zambian law because his parents were not Zambian or of Zambian descent.

The copper rich southern African nation has 5.1 million registered voters in a total population of about 15 million. The winner of the election will serve out the remainder of Sata's term until elections next year.