- Chakwera’s apparent landslide win is hovering around 60% of the vote.
- This was the first time that Malawi has repeated elections.
- Chakwera has already received congratulations from other African leaders.
Malawi’s national broadcaster, MBC, has announced that Lazarus Chakwera, the joint opposition candidate, is leading the country’s presidential election held on Tuesday. The vote tallying is still being finalized, and the nation’s electoral body hasn’t announced the official results yet.
Chakwera’s apparent landslide win is hovering around 60% of the vote. At the close of business on Thursday, the Electoral Commission told news reporters that it will take two more days to announce the result of the election, which served as a repeat of the May 2019 presidential elections.
“We are trying to be as thorough as possible. We expect to have the final results in 36 to 48 hours,” said the president of the country’s Electoral Commission, Chifundo Kachali.
An Historic Poll
This was the first time that Malawi has repeated elections. Fraud during the voting led the Constitutional Court to annul the previous ballot, won by Peter Mutharika, the incumbent President since 2014. Mutharika accused the Supreme Court of a “judicial coup d’etat,” stating that there were no irregularities.
The irregular vote gave rise to a wave of violent protests across the country, something rare in Malawi, a relatively peaceful nation in southern Africa.
On Tuesday, after voting in the capital, Chakwera told his supporters to remain calm. “There is no reason to resort to violence. This is a peaceful country and we all need to vote peacefully. We all need to respect one another,” said Chakwera, after casting his vote at his home village in Malembo in Lilongwe, North West constituency.
Fight Against Corruption
Chakwera said that this time he believed in a fair election. The candidate made fighting corruption a central pillar of the election campaign.
“I want to serve Malawi with integrity. I want to be able to make Malawi united and be able to respect the rule of law,” said Chakwera to a mob of reporters. “I believe this is our date with destiny and this is the time for the begging of a new Malawi,” he said.
Who is Lazarus Chakwera?
Now 65 years old, the former evangelical pastor, who presided over the Malawi Assembly of God for 24 years, Chakwera holds a doctorate in theology. His academic career went through Malawi, South Africa, and the United States of America.
Since 2013 he leads the Malawi Congress Party, which ruled the country from 1964 to 1994, under the iron grip of Hastings Kamuzu Banda. Opposition politicians in neighboring countries have already congratulated Chakwera on the victory, which has yet to be confirmed though. Zimbabwean opposition leader Nelson Chamisa tweeted:
New life to Malawi! Congratulations to the President Elect.A true believer in Christ.Dr Lazarus Chakwera served at the helm of the Assemblies of God for many years.The Lord has given Malawi a Godly man.Kudos to state organs’ professionalism & citizens’ vigilance. Well done Malawi!
Chamisa, just like Chakwera, is also a politician and church minister. Mmusi Maimane, former leader of South Africa’s Democratic Alliance added:
Fewer days do I get to celebrate more than this. My friend, brother and leader has just won the Malawian elections. I just got off the phone with him and celebrate his achievement. Pray for his nation and thank God for a renewal in that nation. Change is coming