Malawi opposition leader wins presidential vote re-run - global

Malawi opposition leader wins presidential vote re-run - global

Malawi's opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera on Saturday was declared the victor of a re-run presidential election, a dramatic reversal of incumbent Peter Mutharika's discredited win 13 months earlier in a process that analysts viewed as a triumph for democracy in Africa.

"The Chairperson further commends all the political parties, candidates, and their supporters for their collective effort in promoting a democratic, credible, transparent and peaceful electoral process".

Chakwera, 65, won 58.57 percent of the vote in Tuesday's poll, a dramatic reversal of the result of the original election in May 2019, which was later overturned by the courts.

The country was bitterly divided in the run-up to this week's election.

The election was the second time in just over a year, after incumbent President, Peter Mutharika's re-election was annulled by the courts over irregularities. "This is a win for Malawians, a win for democracy".

Chakwera was born in Lilongwe to a subsistence farmer whose two elder sons died in infancy.

"The commission declares that Lazarus Chakwera has attained the requisite majority of electorate and is duly elected as president", the electoral commission chairman Chifundo Kachale said.

In his acceptance speech yesterday, Dr Chakwera pledged to unite the country and fight poverty.

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Mutharika, joined by his running mate, Atupele Muluzi, leader of the opposition United Democratic Front, told reporters the polls were marred by irregularities.

What did the new president say?

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An electoral official (L) checks the voters' roll while people queue to vote at the Malembo polling station during the presidential elections in Lilongwe on 23 June 2020. "That is how we will fulfill the dream of a new Malawi that will be for everyone". "You know this issue of nepotism, issue of tribalism".

Chakwera promised servant leadership will restore a new generation's faith in "the possibility of having a government that serves, not a government that rules; a government that inspires, not a government that infuriates; a government that listens, not a government that shouts; a government that fights for you, not against you".

Chakwera's victory late on June 27 was a result of months of determined street protests in the southern African nation, and of a unanimous decision by the Constitutional Court that widespread irregularities in the May 2019 election including the use of correction fluid on ballots could not stand.

Chakwera, who came second in that election, argued that tallying forms had been added up incorrectly and tampered with.

Mutharika described February's annulment as a "serious subversion of justice" which marked the death of the country's democracy.

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Malawi opposition alliance leader, Lazarus Chakwera for his victory in the country's presidential election re-run.

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