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18 Mar 2020 | 10:15 AM UTC

Malawi: Demonstration planned in Lilongwe March 19 /update 5

Opposition parties call for demonstration in Lilongwe March 19; heightened security presence and localized disruptions expected

security
transportation
MWI

Event

Leaders of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and the United Transformation Movement (UTM) have called for a demonstration to take place in Lilongwe on Thursday, March 19, to celebrate a political alliance between the two parties. Supporters will march from Civo Stadium to Kamuzu Institute for Youth at 11:00 (local time), where various party leaders will speak. The event is expected to last until approximately 14:30.

A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of the demonstration.

Context

Election-related demonstrations organized by opposition supporters have been held regularly since May 26, 2019, after voting irregularities were reported during the May 21 general elections. Demonstrators have been calling for the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah, accusing her of mishandling the presidential elections. Additionally, protesters are increasingly discontented with President Peter Mutharika and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as a whole.

The Malawian Constitutional Court in Lilongwe annulled Peter Mutharika's 2019 presidential election victory on Monday, February 3, upholding an application submitted by opposition parties. A new vote will be held on Tuesday, May 19.

Advice

Individuals in Lilongwe are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests, anticipate disruptions to transportation and business and a heightened security presence near demonstration sites, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.