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Last Updated: Monday, 24 May, 2004, 13:24 GMT 14:24 UK
Malawi elections: Your experiences
Voters queue up in Malawi
The people of Malawi are keenly waiting for a verdict on the country's third presidential election since democracy was established a decade ago.

The first results were expected to trickle in overnight, with the final result expected on Saturday.

Voting was reportedly calm despite earlier allegations of irregularities.

Opposition parties had accused the authorities of altering the electoral roll without consulting them - a complaint which caused the vote, originally scheduled for Tuesday, to be delayed.

Did you vote in the elections? Were they free and fair? Send us your experiences.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

To say the truth about the Malawi elections today, Gwanda Chakuamba is the one who is going to win the elections. Most places people are talking well about this man. The only worry is the fear of rigging by the ruling party "UDF". But with the help of God the elections are going to be free.
Alfred Jiya, Lilongwe, Malawi

Turnout is very high. Voters are enthusiastic but the polling staff are struggling and appear unprepared.
Mphepo, Blantyre, Malawi

As a Malawian civil servant, I served as polling officer for a centre in the south. Most voters had selected the wrong candidate because they "were taught how to vote". An MCP campaigner showed them using a sample that they needed to remove all parts and leave his party on. Was it illegal? Or just sheer ignorance and illiteracy?
Nathaniel Chalamanda, Stirling, Scotland

I always wonder why elections in Africa are treated with a lot of scepticism.
Judith Akolo, Nairobi, Kenya
I always wonder why elections in Africa are treated with a lot of scepticism. If indeed people died and their names had to be removed from the registers in Malawi so be it. Let the elections continue. In my opinion technological advancement could hold the answer to this constant squabbling. Look at what happened in India and take note. They are a billion people yet they can vote using modern technology free of cheating.
Judith Akolo, Nairobi, Kenya

As someone who lived in Malawi as a volunteer in a rural village for more than two years, I know that the people living in the deep rural places will most likely not be able to cast their vote. It is these villagers who get shafted in many different ways like food distribution and government subsidies. Let us just hope that times are changing and the right man will be put into the hot seat.
Patrick King, Cape Town, South Africa

With poverty, ignorance and hunger there will never be fair elections in Malawi. People are used and manipulated. I took part in the first democratic vote in Malawi in 1994. I can assure everyone that there is too much corruption and one cannot trust the system. Of course people will always abuse any system but for this to happen there has to be errors in the system itself. Politicians are money hungry, and hence changing parties all the time. It is not real, however, it's one step in the right direction.
Anderson, London

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