The annual Electoral Commissions Forum for Southern African Development Community (ECF-SADC) countries opened in Blantyre on Monday, September 23. Representatives from the 16 SADC countries are attending the conference, which is being held at the Mount Soche Hotel through Friday, September 27. Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah, who is under pressure from political opposition groups to step down, is also participating in the events. According to media reports, heightened security measures, including an increased police presence, are in place around the hotel. Associated demonstrations are possible during the forum.
Election-related demonstrations organized by opposition supporters have been held since May 26, after voting irregularities were reported during the May 21 general elections. Demonstrators have been calling for the resignation of Ansah, accusing her of mishandling the presidential elections.
Individuals in Blantyre are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests and public gatherings, anticipate transportation disruptions and a heightened security presence around the conference site, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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