Malawi opposition leader Chakwera wins historic Presidential election; to be sworn in today

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Opposition joint candidate Lazrus Chakwera wins a re-run presidential election in Malawi; Online Photo

The president-elect, Lazarus Chakwera will be sworn in today after the Electoral Commission announced him as the winner of a re-run presidential election held on Tuesday.

Chakwera polled 2.6 million votes out of the 4.4 million votes cast defeating the incumbent, Professor Peter Muthalika with 58.57% of the vote.

Muthalika received 1.7 million votes. Lazarus Chakwera will immediately be sworn in later today at the country’s Parliament in the administrative Capital Lilongwe.

In February, Malawi’s constitutional court annulled Mr Mutharika’s victory in the May 2019 election, citing irregularities.

Following the official result on Saturday, Mr Chakwera said his victory was “a win for democracy and justice,” adding: “My heart is bubbling with joy.”

His supporters took to the streets of the Malawian capital, Lilongwe, sounding car horns and letting off fireworks.

Chakwera, 65, of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), becomes the first African opposition candidate to beat an incumbent after a court overturned a presidential election.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s results, Mr Mutharika said that while he found the election “unacceptable”, it was his “sincere hope that we should take this country forward instead of backwards”.

Mutharika alleged that 12 ruling Democratic Progressive Party election agents are missing while others, including Secretary-General Gelzeder Jeffrey, were attacked.

“Many of our election monitors are painfully nursing injuries in hospitals and at home. Many families are still recovering from the unbelievable horrors of this election,” he said.

However, Mutharika urged Malawians to remain calm and peaceful before and after election results are revealed and respect the verdict of the electoral commission.

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