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Elections in the time of covid-19: the triple crises around Malawi’s 2020 presidential elections

Dulani, B; Harris, A; Lust, E; Ferree, K; Kao, K; Ahsan Jansson, C; Metheney, EA; (2021) Elections in the time of covid-19: the triple crises around Malawi’s 2020 presidential elections. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties , 31 (S1) pp. 56-68. 10.1080/17457289.2021.1924745. Green open access

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Abstract

In June 2020, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Malawians went to the polls and voted to replace the incumbent government. Much like other natural disasters, the Covid-19 pandemic and accompanying economic and political shocks had the potential to shake voters’ confidence in the government, reduce turnout, and/or reduce support for the incumbent if voters associated them with the ills of the pandemic. In this paper, we examine the extent to which the Coronavirus pandemic influenced Malawi’s 2020 elections. We consider how fear of infection and economic distress affected citizens’ trust and confidence in President Mutharika’s government, their willingness to turn out to vote, and their choices at the polls using data collected pre- and post-Covid. We find that fears about the virus and its economic impact did influence trust and confidence in the government to handle Covid but had little to no effect on either abstention or vote choice.

Type: Article
Title: Elections in the time of covid-19: the triple crises around Malawi’s 2020 presidential elections
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/17457289.2021.1924745
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/17457289.2021.1924745
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Keywords: Covid-19; Malawi; elections; natural disasters
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10130841
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