More than 6 million Malawians voted yesterday for president, parliament and local councils in the country’s sixth election since the 1994 end of dictatorship.
Of a field of seven presidential candidates, incumbent 78-year-old President Peter Mutharika faces stiff competition from his vice-president, Saulos Chilima, 46, and from Lazarus Chakwera, 64, leader of the main opposition, the Malawi Congress Party.
Malawi’s winning candidate must get the most votes cast but is not required to receive more than 50% of the votes. Previous president Joyce Banda dropped out of the race and is supporting Chakwera. Of the registered voters, 54% are young people between the ages of 18 and 34. Women make up 56% of the registered voters while all the presidential candidates are male.