Historic presidential re-run in Malawi

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TOPSHOT - A woman casts her vote at the Ndirande Community ground polling centre on May 21, 2019 in Blantyre, southern Malawi, during the country general Elections. - Millions of voters in Malawi cast ballots today in a closely-fought election, with incumbent President battling to hold off two rivals in a race that focused on corruption allegations and economic development. (Photo by AMOS GUMULIRA / AFP) (Photo credit should read AMOS GUMULIRA/AFP/Getty Images)
Sealed Ballot boxes are pictured at the close of voting at the Ndirande Community ground polling centre on May 21, 2019 in Blantyre, southern Malawi, during the country general Elections. / AFP

Polls have opened in Malawi a year on from President Peter Mutharika’s disputed election victory that was annulled nearly five months ago.

Mr Mutharika, who wants a second term, is up against Lazarus Chakwera, who heads an opposition coalition.

Evidence of vote tampering including correction fluid on tally sheets led to judges scrapping his May 2019 victory and ordering a fresh election.

The country’s judiciary has been widely praised for its robust response.

Malawi became the second African nation to annul a presidential election over irregularities, after Kenya in 2017.

Widespread anti-government protests and violence have threatened to plunge Malawi into an even deeper crisis.

(With input from BBC)

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