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Updated Jun 24, 2020
A soldier votes at a polling booth during the presidential elections at the Malembo polling station in Lilongwe on June 23, 2020. Malawians return to the polls on June 23, 2020 for the second time in just over a year to vote for a new president after Peter Mutharika's re-election was annulled over rigging. The election is much anticipated after the Constitutional Court early this year ruled that the May 2019 vote, won narrowly by Mutharika, was fraught with "grave and widespread irregularities" including the use of correction fluid on results sheets.  AMOS GUMULIRA / AFP
A soldier votes at a polling booth during the presidential elections at the Malembo polling station in Lilongwe on June 23, 2020. (Amos Gumulira/AFP)

Malawians went to the polls on Monday, June 23, to participate in the country’s presidential election rerun. Following accusations by the political opposition and civil activists of vote rigging in the May 2019 election, the Constitutional Court in February nullified the results citing massive irregularities, including the revelation that Tipp-Ex correction fluid was used to alter vote tallies. Incumbent president Peter Mutharika, who had won a second term, and the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) appealed the ruling, but the Supreme Court upheld the order for a rerun of the election.

 

Early results have started to come in, indicating it’s a close race

 

Despite present fears of COVID-19 spread, the turnout was high in the major cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuza, and Zomba.

Early results have started to come in, indicating it’s a close race between Mutharika and his challenger, Lazarus Chakwera, head of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). Unlike last year’s election, either candidate needs to earn more than 50 percent of the vote in order to avoid a runoff election.

Chakwera’s MCP has aligned itself with the United Transformation Movement, led by current vice-president Saoulos Chilima. The Democratic Progressive Party of Chakwera also formed an alliance with the United Democratic Front, led by the son of former president Bakili Muluzi.

 

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