Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera who leads the nine-party Tonse Alliance attended church service on Sunday after the end of official campaigning and spending more time with family.
Campaigning for the Tuesday June 23 Fresh Presidential Elections closed at 6am on Sunday as per electoral laws, giving aspirants and their supporters 48 hours of rest before polling day.
Chakwera, a 65-year-old former president of the Malawi Assemblies of God turned politician, on Sunday attended a service at his church, Assemblies of God in Lilongwe, accompanied by his wife for the main service of the day.
After the service, Chakwera and his wife took time out to pose for pictures with children, women and men.
The MCP presidential hopeful was chosen to lead the newly formed Tonse Alliance, which also includes several smaller parties. His running mate is Saulos Chilima, UTM leader and President Peter Mutharika’s deputy who finished third in last year’s poll.
Chakwera said apart from holding meetings at MCP headquarters, he would spend the period between end of official campaigning and polling day with his children and grandchildren as always.
He will travel to his home village to cast his vote at Malembo Primary School in Lilongwe North West Constituency.
The incumbent President Peter Mutharika who is leading the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) alliance is spending his time in his office at State House in Lilongwe.
State House spokesman Mgeme Kalilani said Mutharika is in “a jovial mood” and is expected to cast his vote in his home, in Thyolo East Constituency, where he registered.
Mutharika during campaign repeated last year’s pledge to “transform” Malawi, one of the world’s poorest countries, into Singapore over the next five years.
Countering the key messages of the opposition has also been central to the DPP-UDF alliance’s campaign.
Running mates were also resting after the extensive campaign period.
Chilima is expected to cast his ballot in Lilongwe while Mutharika’s running mate Atupele Muluzi, son to the country’s first multiparty president Bakili Muluzi, said he will be voting at Kapoloma in his Machinga North East Constituency.
Whoever wins the do-over presidential elections will face the daunting task of healing divisions in a country emerging from a bruising year of nearly constant and sometimes violent demonstrations.
The weeks leading up to this year’s vote have also been largely been peaceful, even though the campaign has been punctuated by sporadic acts of violence – especially when the main candidates appeared in rival strongholds.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :