Malawi: Final Countdown to Polls


On Tuesday May 21 Malawians will vote in presidential, parliamentary and local elections across 5,000 polling stations. More than six million are registered to vote.

Ahead of the polls the Chair of Malawi’s Electoral Commission (MEC) Dr Jane Ansah has assured voters that the vote will be a credible process, dismissing concerns that it could be vulnerable to rigging. 

The vote will see a mix of manual and electronic methods deployed, with paper-based voting followed by an electronic transmission and tally of the count. It is the first to be held since the adoption of the new 2018 Political Parties Act, which introduced additional regulation concerning the funding of parties and outlaws handouts to voters. 

The presidential election could be a close call, with incumbent President Mutharika running for a second term in office set to face his deputy Saulos Chilima and his United Transformation Movement (UTM), popular Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate Lazarus Chakwera, and a further five contenders.

Whichever candidate secures the most votes will be elected President, with no run-off or second round required.

The elected representatives will serve five year terms.