Supporters of the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) and other anti-government protesters clashed with police in Blantyre (Southern region) and Mzuzu (Northern region) amid nationwide demonstrations on Thursday, June 20, to demand the resignation of Jane Ansah, the head of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC). Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters in Blantyre as dozens attempted to storm the Election Commission offices, while protesters in Mzuzu reportedly attempted to storm a local revenue office and prison. Protests were also reported in other urban areas across Malawi, including Lilongwe.
Further election-related demonstrations are likely over the coming weeks amid a heightened security presence in major urban areas.
Election-related demonstrations have been held since May 26 after voting irregularities were reported during the May 21 general elections.
On June 6, police forcibly dispersed protesters, resulting in several injuries. Security forces also fired tear gas into crowds gathered outside of the MCP headquarters in the capital when the party’s leader was meeting with the US ambassador.
Individuals in Malawi, particularly in the abovementioned cities, are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate transportation disruptions and a heightened security presence, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, and avoid all protests and public gatherings.
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