- Malawi's presidential elections to be held next week are already being dimissed by the opposition as smelling full of fraud and rigging.
The 19 May elections, in which current president, Bingu wa Mutharika, is seeking a second term in office, have been surrounded by heated political tempers before and during campaign period, even prompting the African Union to send its mission of ex-presidents to help cool-off the tempers that could lead to violence.
Opposition leaders have charged that there is already a scheme for rigging which invloves the country's police.
Also in the centre of the political heat, is the disqualification of the former president, Bakili Muluzi, who is seeking a third term in office, against the country's constitution. Muluzi's final attempt in the higher country's court is expected on Friday when Malawi's constitutional court will make a ruling.
According to political observers in Malawi, the 2009 general and presidential elections are also characterised by the lack of commitment to the country's code of conduct signed by the parties with the national electoral commission.
Political observers have said the campaign period has come with a lot of hate speeches and other unwarranted counter accusations by the political players, against the signed code.
Challenging Mr Mutharika for the presidency will be Kamuzu Chibambo of the People’s Transformation Party and John Tembo under the alliance ticket between the Malawi Congress Party and the United Democratic Front Alliance.
Other candidates are Stanley Masuali of the New Republican party, Dindi Gowa Nyasulu of the Alliance for Democracy, Loveness Gondwe of the New Rainbow Coalition and an independent candidate James Nyondo.
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