A voter getting the finger inked as Malawi votes.AP
Malawian voters defied the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday to return to the polls for the second time in just over a year after President Peter Mutharika's re-election was annulled in a dramatic court ruling.
The hotly-anticipated re-run was ordered by the Constitutional Court, which declared that the May 2019 vote, narrowly won by Mutharika, was fraught with "grave and widespread irregularities" including the use of correction fluid on results sheets.
It ordered new elections be held within 150 days of its February ruling.
The new polling deadline coincided with the coronavirus pandemic raging across world, but that did not deter candidates who staged rallies attracting tens of thousands of supporters across the country.
The landmark verdict reverberated across African politics, for it made Malawi just the second country south of the Sahara to have presidential poll results set aside, after Kenya in 2017.
"I am happy because this re-run is the will of the people. And with this vote, I just hope that the best person wins. The will of the people will triumph," said Peter Chadza, 26, a businessman who arrived an hour-and-a-half before voting was due to start in the capital.
Tuesday's election is practically a two-horse race between the president and his main rival Lazarus Chakwera, who lost the election by 159,000 votes.
Mutharika, who turns 80 next month, won with 38.5 percent of the ballots against Chakwera's 35 percent, according to the now-discredited results.
This time, a candidate will have to garner more than 50 percent of the votes to be declared the winner -- a new threshold welcomed by the Public Affairs Committee, an influential quasi-religious civic group.
"This election is unique. First, this election is born out of a court ruling and second, they will follow the 50-percent-plus-one system," the group said in a statement.
Biden, the 77-year-old former vice president, spoke to a large crowd of supporters in Missouri, one of six states that will hold Democratic primaries on Tuesday, one week after the "Super Tuesday" elections brought about a dramatic reversal of fortunes in his favour.
"The Russians are still engaged in trying to delegitimize our electoral process. Fact," the presumptive Democratic challenger said at a fundraiser on Friday according to the Washington Post.
President Andrzej Duda, a 48-year-old conservative backed by the ruling party, is running against 10 other candidates as he seeks a second 5-year term.
The police said that accidents happened because motorists were paying attention to the road and the traffic in front of them.
Authorities have said only one million people can join the 2022 season, less than half of pre-pandemic levels, and access is restricted to pilgrims aged 18 to 65 who have been fully vaccinated or immunised against the virus and do not suffer from chronic diseases.
Oana is from Romania and is currently based in Ras Al-Khaimah. The newly wed who has lived in the UAE for six years runs her own business. A loyal Mahzooz fan, she hopes to score the top prize of Dhs10,000,000 but for now she is grateful for the win.