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Malawi Election Postponed - 2004-05-14

A high court in Malawi has postponed the general elections that were scheduled for Tuesday. The main opposition coalition had asked for the delay because of problems with the voters' list.

A judge in Blantyre handed down his decision late Friday. A V-O-A reporter at the court says the judge ordered the election should be held no later than May 25th, which is one week after the originally scheduled date. It will be up to the electoral commission to decide on the exact date for the poll.

The main opposition group, known as the Mgwirizano Coalition, went to court Thursday to ask for the delay. The coalition says there are serious problems with the newly computerized voters' roll.

The voters' roll was revised last week, slashing the number of eligible voters by nearly a million. The coalition says it needs more time to review the new list to make sure it is accurate.

The electoral commission argued against changing the voting date, saying the change will cost money.

When Malawians do go to the polls, they will choose a new president to replace outgoing leader Bakili Muluzi, who is stepping down after two five-year terms.