Organizers from the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) announced that protests will be held in Lilongwe from Wednesday, October 2, to Friday, October 4. Thousands participated in a demonstration on Tuesday, October 1, to demand the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah. Violent clashes broke out between protesters and security forces, who then used tear gas to forcibly disperse the demonstration. The HRDC stated that protests will continue until Jane Ansah has resigned.
Additional protests are possible in Lilongwe over the near term. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected around any demonstration site. Clashes between protesters and security forces 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. 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 Lilongwe are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests and public gatherings, anticipate transportation disruptions and a heightened security presence around demonstration sites, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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