The People’s Party (PP) said it is “extremely dismayed” and disturbed by reports of violence in several polling centres in Blantyre during the voting process on Tuesday.
Soldiers were deployed in Malawi’s commercial capital Blantyre after voters, angered by delays and mishaps at polling stations in a hotly contested presidential election, torched voting materials and blocked roads.
“While there are many challenges facing the voting process, the PP believes that resorting to burning the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) property, including ballot papers is not the best way of resolving such challenges,” PP said in a statement signed by director of youth Lawrence Mpofu.
PP the electoral body to ensure that all the challenges are dealt with decisively.
The governing party also urged law-enforcing agencies to be “vigilant and decisively deal “with any crime that may affect a smooth voting process.
PP therefore commending MEC “for making sure that in all polling centres where there have been problems, people are still given the opportunity to vote by extending the closing time to 9 PM.”
About 7.4 million registered voters in the early hours of Tuesday trooped to various polling centers across Malawi to vote for a president, lawmakers and local government leaders in the country’s fifth elections since the return to multiparty politics in 1994.
Incumbent President Joyce Banda faces stiff competition from three opposition candidates.