By Justin Mkweu, Taonga Sabola & Feston Malekezo:
Unofficial results for the fresh presidential election show that Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera, who is also Tonse Alliance torchbearer, has won the presidency.
Chakwera, 65, together with his running mate Saulos Chilima of UTM are expected to form the next government. Chakwera becomes Malawi’s 6th president.
Chakwera, as per unofficial results, defeated the incumbent President Peter Mutharika who represented Democratic Progressive Party-United Democratic Front (DPP-UDF) Alliance in a poll that was ordered by the High Court on February 3 2020, in a landmark ruling that nullified the May 2019 presidential election results because the election was marred by what it called widespread and systematic irregularities.
June 23 2020 was set by Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) and endorsed by Parliament after the High Court, sitting as Constitutional Court ordered a fresh election to be held within 150 days from day of the ruling.
Presidential election results that the Times group can unofficially disclose—after using a sophisticated software that aggregated data collected from almost all the constituencies— show that Chakwera was leading the poll with about 2.4 million votes beating Mutharika, 82, who had accumulated 1.6 million votes.
About 4.1 million votes had been tabulated as we went to press.
However, Mec is the only legally mandated body to announce the official results of an election.
The aggregated votes show that the third contender in the election, Peter Kuwani of Mbakuwaku Movement for Democracy had polled 53,388 votes across the country. About 37,215 votes were declared null and void.
So far, Chakwera will win the presidency with a majority as interpreted by the High Court that it is 50%+1 and that there will be no need for a run off.
Results from nine districts in the Central Region show that Chakwera triumphed over his rival President Mutharika by a wide margin.
According to final results from all Central Region districts, except two constituencies in Dedza, Chakwera led Mutharika by 1.73 million votes against Mutharika’s 193,534 votes.
Kuwani came a distant third with 9,951 votes.
In his home district of Lilongwe, Chakwera amassed 644,730 votes against Mutharika’s 68,888 votes. Mutharika also suffered a huge defeat in Dowa where he amassed 7,436 votes against Chakwera’s 235,972 votes.
Unofficial results from the Southern Region favour Mutharika who, according to tabulated votes as we went to press, got 1, 206, 219 votes while his main rival, Chakwera came second with 314,860 votes. Kuwani anchored the polling table with 11,599 votes.
In the Northern Region, unofficial results showed that Chakwera was leading with 228,870 votes; results from five districts of the region against Mutharika’s 43, 742 and Peter Kuwani’s 3, 020. The results are from Chitipa, Karonga, Rumphi, Nkhata Bay and Likoma districts.
MCP Secretary General Eisenhower Mkaka has expressed joy about the manner in which the elections are being conducted so far.
He said the shortest period in which the new Mec Chairperson has been at the helm of the electoral body has resulted into the most, free, fair and credible election.
“Our expectation as an alliance is that we have been advocating for five things; one of them being the rule of law and so far, the Mec Chairperson has proven that. Our hope is that he continues in this path which is not only right but also legal,” Mkaka said.
Political analyst George Phiri said Chakwera might have carried the day mostly because of the votes from the north which went to Chilima in last year’s elections.
“One can see that Chakwera is leading in the north and the Central Region which are regions with higher registered voters and the north which supported Chilima is now behind Chakwera,” said Phiri.
During the press briefing earlier Wednesday Mec Chairperson Chifundo Kachale said it was only Mec that was mandated to announce final results after aggregating all the results.
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