Malawi was due to go to the polls on June 29 and 30 after nearly three months of unusual political turmoil in a country that for years has been a byword for stability under the rule of Life President Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda.
SV PULL BACK TO GV Flags flying and cars going past; building with bunting (2 shots)
CU PULL BACK TO GV Portrait of President Banda on government buildings with cockerel party insignia
GV Woman walking on street
CU Cockerel insignia
GVs People walking along streets of Blantyre (3 shots)
GV ZOOM INTO CU AND CU Portraits of Banda (2 shots)
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Background: Malawi was due to go to the polls on June 29 and 30 after nearly three months of unusual political turmoil in a country that for years has been a byword for stability under the rule of Life President Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda. In the days leading up to polling, the domineering presence of Dr Banda, one of the few pre-independence African leaders still in power, was emphasised by posters of him overlooking the streets of the capital, Blantyre, accompanied by the cockerel party insignia. According to The Times newspaper, recent events in the country have been interpreted as a possible struggle behind the scenes for the succession to Dr Banda. Malawi gained full independence from britain in 1964, and since then Dr Banda has pursued a pro-West foreign policy. His preferred choice as successor is believed to be Mr John Tembo, governor of the Malawi Reserve Bank. In the General Election, 21 of the 101 constituencies have unopposed candidates. Malawi is a one-party state, so voters in the contested seats will have the choice of various candidates of the ruling Malawi Congress Party.