Malawi activists resume protests over presidential vote result

Flag of Malawi (iStock)
Flag of Malawi (iStock)

Thousands of people gathered in three cities in Malawi on Wednesday to call for the sacking of the head of the electoral commission, as protests continue over May's presidential election result.

The demonstrations came two days after the expiry of a 14-day ban on protests ordered by the Supreme Court in a bid to allow mediation between the government and protest leaders.

Protesters demonstrated in the capital in the capital Lilongwe, in the commercial centre Blantyre and in the third city of Mzuzu.

They want the head of the Malawi Electoral Commission Jane Ansah to step down over her handling of the disputed May presidential elections.

According to the official results, President Peter Mutharika secured a slim margin of victory over opposition chief Lazarus Chakwera.

Wednesday's protests passed off peacefully, Gift Trapence, vice chairperson of the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) told AFP, adding that they had presented a petition to Parliament.

Official show Mutharika won 38.57% of the vote to Chakwera's 35.41%, with former vice president Saulos Chilima third, on 20.24%.

But the two opposition leaders said there had been irregularities in the vote-counting process and both have joined some of the subsequent protests.

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