Malawi’s opposition candidates made a last-ditch bid on Saturday (May 18) as candidates for next week’s hotly contested election wrapped up their campaigns at rival rallies across the country.
Analysts expect a tight race on Tuesday (May 21) between President Peter Mutharika and two leading opposition candidates — Lazarus Chakwera, who heads the second-largest party in parliament and Deputy President Saulos Chilima.
Pastor Lazarus Chakwera, 64, who leads the Malawi Congress Party, the second-largest party in parliament, has made corruption-fighting a key campaign message.
On the outskirts of Lilongwe, Mutharika’s former ally-turned-foe Chilima told supporters the president was corrupt and should not be allowed to contest.
Former law professor Mutharika, 78, is trying to secure a second five-year term in Malawi, a southern African country heavily dependent on foreign aid which has experienced severe droughts in the past decade. Voters will also elect a new parliament and local government councillors.