The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) opposition group has called for demonstrations to take place in Blantyre from Wednesday, September 25, through Friday, September 27. Protesters are expected to meet at upper stadium, then march to Mount Soche Hotel hotel to hand over their petition to demand the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah, who is attending the annual Electoral Commissions Forum for Southern African Development Community (ECF-SADC). Further related protests are scheduled to take place until Friday.
A heightened security presence and localized transport disruptions are expected along all march routes and at the hotel. Violence has broken out at previous HRDC demonstrations and clashes between rival political supporter and security forces are possible.
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 Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah, accusing her 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 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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