The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) and other civil society groups staged nationwide demonstrations on Tuesday, August 6, under the banner "One Million March" to demand the resignation of the Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson Jane Ansah and other officials. Disruptive protests took place in Lilongwe, as protesters reportedly looted stores as they marched to Capital Hill area; police also used tear gas in an attempt to disperse protesters near Community Ground. Some 20,000 people marched through Blantyre on Tuesday, while participation was lower in Mzuzu city.
Heightened security measures and localized traffic disruptions are anticipated near any future demonstrations. Clashes between protesters and security forces or rival political supporters cannot be ruled out.
Election-related demonstrations organized by opposition supporters have been held since May 26 after voting irregularities were reported during the May 21 general elections. Protesters have notably criticized Ansah and called for her resignation after she was accused of mishandling the presidential elections. While HRDC maintains its demands for Ansah's resignation, there is growing discontent among protesters with President Mutharika and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as a whole.
Individuals in Malawi 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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