Banda cancels Malawi polls

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LILONGWE — President Joyce Banda yesterday cancelled Malawi’s elections citing fraud and “rampant irregularities” in a decision that triggered protests and was challenged by the national electoral authority and a political rival.

Joyce-Banda

Banda, who had been standing for re-election, ordered a new vote within 90 days, but said she would no longer be a candidate, to guarantee a credible outcome.

Malawi’s Electoral Commission (MEC) and one of her main rivals for the presidency who had been leading in the vote count so far contested her annulment announcement, saying she did not have the constitutional power to cancel the elections.

Her decision led to protests at Limbe outside the commercial hub of Blantyre, where demonstrators smashed shops, police said.

— Reuters