Over 7 million registered Malawians participated today in the country's first tripartite (presidential, parliamentary and local government) elections with the incumbent President Joyce Banda facing challenges from 11 other candidates which included Peter Mutharika the late former President's brother, Atupele Muluzi - the son of another former president - and a former preacher, Lazarus Chakwera.
Voting was delayed in parts of the largest city, Blantyre, due to a shortage of election material with complaints about lack of indelible ink and reports of angry scenes from polling stations.
This elections is seen as one of the closest in the country's history but analysts are of the opinion that President Banda is likely to win due to her popularity in the local areas.
Malawi practices the first-past-the-post system and there will be no run-off elections. The president is directly elected concurrently with Parliament by a plurality. The term of office of the president is five years and a president may seek re-election for a second five-year term.