Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika, who is seeking re-election, will cast his vote at Goliati Primary School at his home village, T/A Chimaliro in Thyolo district during the Tuesday’s court-ordered election rerun in what is shaping to be one of the most competitive polls in the country’s history.
The Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal last month upheld the constitutional court’s annulment of a shambolic May 2019 vote that handed Mutharika a second five-year term. It also ordered that the successful candidate must win an outright majority of 50 % plus one of total votes casts rather than the most votes as in the past.
Mutharika, 80, who has pledged to turn Malawi into a developed nation if re-elected, is in “jovial mood” ahead of the polls, according to his press secretary Mgeme Kalilani.
The President has been campaigning on promises of stability and development and accuses the opposition of being forces of anarchy, citing the violent demonstrations that plagued the country in the aftermath of last year’s disputed election.
Mutharika, who has partnered with another 2019 presidential candidate, Atupele Muluzi, of the United Democratic Front (UDF), remains confident of retaining office.
While he has been credited with bolstering economic growth, he has been criticised for not clamping down on graft.
Local music hip-hop star Tay Grin, who has campaigned for Mutharika across the country, is confident voters want the DPP-UDF alliance torchbearer to stay in power.
“He is a law-abiding leader, he is the rock we need to stand on during these chaotic times,” he said.
Some 6.8-million Malawians from a population of 18-million are registered to cast their votes between 6am and 6pm at 9 291 polling stations across the country.
Lazarus Chakwera, the leader of the country’s oldest political party and biggest opposition, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), is the maina challenger of Mutharika.
He has partnered with Saulos Chilima, leader of the newly-formed UTM Party and officially the country’s vice-president.
Presidential pretender Peter Kuwani, of the Mbakuwaku Movement for Development party, completes the list of candidates.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :