MALAWI: Country Goes to Polls

LILONGWE, MAY 21, 2018 (CISA) – Malawians have today gone to the polls to elect the President, Members of the National Assembly, and local government councillors.

According to the Malawi Electoral Commission, voting commenced at 6 am, and were expected to close at 6 pm.

Incumbent President Peter Mutharika running on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ticket has been in power since 2014, and faces opposition from Vice President Saulos Chilima of United Transformation Movement (UTM) and former Church Minister Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party.

The country has 6.8 million registered voters with half of the registered voters being under 35.

The election is the first since a new law forced parties to declare large donations and banned the once-common practice by candidates of giving cash handouts.

Malawi became independent from Britain in 1964, and was ruled by Hastings Banda, as a one-party state until the first multi-party elections in 1994.

The country has a population of 18 million people.