Malawi opposition leader Chakwera sworn in as new president

Sunday June 28 2020

Malawi's opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera has

Malawi's opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera has been sworn in as President. AFP 

AFP
By AFP
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Blantyre. Malawi's opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera on Sunday took his oath of office as the country's new president after winning a re-run of general elections with 58.57 percent of the vote.

"I... do solemnly swear that I will well and truly perform the functions of the high office of the president of the Republic of Malawi and that I will preserve and defend the constitution," Chakwera proclaimed as he was sworn in at a ceremony in the capital Lilongwe

Malawi's opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera won this week's presidential election re-run with 58.57 percent of the vote, the electoral commission said Saturday.

"The commission declares that Lazarus Chakwera, having attained 58.57 percent of the vote, has been duly elected as the president of Malawi," MEC Chairman Chifundo Kachale announced at a press conference in Blantyre.

Outgoing president Peter Mutharika came second with 1,751,377 votes, while underdog candidate Peter Dominico Kuwani received 32,456.

Over 6.8 million voters in the southern African country went to the polls on Tuesday after the Constitutional Court scrapped the initial May 2019 presidential poll, citing widespread fraud.

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Mutharika, in power since 2014, had won 38.5 percent of the discredited vote in which Chakwera garnered a close 35.4 percent.

In February, Malawi's top court found the first election was marred by widespread irregularities, including the use of correction fluid to tamper with result sheets.

The landmark ruling made Malawi just the second country south of the Sahara to have presidential poll results set aside, after Kenya in 2017.

Mutharika said earlier on Saturday that the election re-run was flawed, and his Democratic Progressive Party has called for a third vote.

Kachale, for the MEC, dismissed the allegations and said all complaints had been "resolved".

Voter turnout was 64.81 percent.