The chairperson of the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) announced on Wednesday, August 7, that the organization will suspend protests to demand the resignation of the Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson Jane Ansah during the ongoing hearings for the presidential election case. According to HRDC leaders, the group wants supporters to be able to follow the hearing, which is being broadcast live on radio and television. However, the HRDC warned that the next demonstrations will be held in strategic locations, including airports and border crossing points, to increase pressure on the government. As of Tuesday, August 13, the HRDC has not announced any new protests.
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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