Mon, 06 Jul 2020

Opposition candidate Saulos Chilima was sworn in as vice-president.

Some 6.8 million Malawians returned to the polls on Tuesday after the country's top court found the first election had been marred by widespread irregularities - including the use of correction fluid to tamper with result sheets.

Chakwera was pronounced the winner with 2.6 million votes, while Mutharika took 1.75 million and underdog candidate Peter Dominico Kuwani over 32 400.

Voter turnout was just under 65%.

In power since 2014, Mutharika had won 38% of the discredited vote last year, just ahead of Chakwera with about 35%.

"Fellow Malawians, to stand before you is an honour. It's an honour that fills me with unspeakable joy," Chakwera said.

"It is an honour forged in the furnace of your desire and your demand for change."

Addressing supporters in Lilongwe's Freedom Square, Chakwera vowed to restore "faith in the possibility of having a government that serves" and "fights for you".

"There are many of you who did not vote for me in this election and perhaps the prospect of my presidency fills you with fear," he added.

"But... Malawi is home to you too... so long as I am its president, you too will prosper."

Complaints 'resolved'

Chakwera leads Malawi's oldest party, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), which is the main opposition party and ruled Malawi for three decades from 1964 to 1994 under Hastings Banda's one-party rule.

Mutharika, 79, has not yet commented on his defeat.

On Saturday, he had argued that the election re-run had been flawed, citing violence and intimidation against monitors.

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) dismissed the allegations and said all complaints had been "resolved".

But Mutharika's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) called on the MEC to annul the results of the second vote and declare a third poll.

Political analysts told AFP they highly doubted the possibility of a second re-run.

Kenya's former prime minister Raila Odinga - who lost to the incumbent in the country's 2017 vote re-run - was among several politicians to congratulate Chakwera.

"I commend the outgoing president Peter Mutharika for creating the environment for a peaceful and orderly transfer of power," Odinga tweeted.

"The election was followed keenly beyond Malawi and is a symbol of hope for those who support democracy in Africa and around the world."

More Africa News

Access More

Sign up for The Africa News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!