Malawi: Opposition Candidate Claims Victory

  • 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.

Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera is a Malawian politician who is the current President of the Malawi Congress Party, in office since 2013. He is the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly following highly controversial elections held in Malawi on 21 May 2019, which he and other opposition figures are disputing in court and they want the elections to be rerun.

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 possibleWe 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?

General elections were held in Malawi on 21 May 2019 to elect the President, National Assembly and local government councillors. Incumbent President Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party was re-elected, with his party remaining the largest in the National Assembly. However, on 3 February 2020, the Constitutional Court annulled the presidential election results due to evidence of irregularities, and ordered fresh elections be held.

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!

“New life to Malawi!,” said Zimbabwean opposition MDC leader Nelson Chamisa.

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

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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