Malawians on Tuesday morning started casting their votes in the country’s sixth election since switching in 1993 from one party state to multiparty democracy.
Malawians are voting in 5,006 poling centres across the country to elect a president, 193 Members of Parliament and 462 local councillors.
According to the Malawi Electoral Commission there are 6.5 million voters of 20 million that are eligible to vote in the country.
Polling stations opened at 6 am local time (0500GMT) and will close at 6 pm local time (1700GMT).
Vice president Saulos Chilima and Lazarus Chakwera are the main challengers to President Peter Mutharika who is seeking reelection in the presidential election which has seven candidates.
The other four are Atupele Muluzi of United Democratic Front, Peter Kuwani of Mbakuwaku Movement, John Chisi of Umodzi Party and independent candidate Hadwick Kaliya.
The presidential candidate with the largest share of the votes cast will win Malawi’s sixth election since the return of multiparty democracy in 1994.
Meanwhile, Chairperson Electoral Commission, Jane Ansah says voting has started well and the commission has not reported any challenge so far and all centres have opened across the country.
Jane Ansah says vote counting will begin immediately after the closing of voting centers at 6 pm local time (1800GMT).
The Malawi Electoral Commission has eight days to announce the result but the winner could be officially announced by the end of the week.
So far voter turn-out, a major problem in past elections has been relatively high.
The major issues dominating the election campaign has been corruption, youth unemployment, and albino killings.