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[Review] How Malawi's Mutharika secured a second term

[Review] How Malawi's Mutharika secured a second term


<p><strong>Malawi’s 2019 general elections ended with the contested victory of president Peter Mutharika, who now has a mandate to serve his second and final term.</strong></p> <p>The tripartite elections that saw Malawians vote for president, members of parliament and local councillors also produced one of the youngest legislators on the continent, 23-year-old Fyness Magonjwa.</p> <p>The presidential election was contested by Mutharika and his deputy, Saulos Chilima who quit the ruling party last year, citing rampant corruption. The main opposition leader, Lazarus Chakwera was also participating in what was projected to be a tight race.</p> <a style="font-size:16px; font-color:yellow;" href="https://www.africanews.com/2019/05/16/everything-you-need-to-know-about-malawi-s-tripartite-2019-election/"target="_blank"><span class="caps">READ</span> <span class="caps">MORE</span>: Everything you need to know about Malawi’s tripartite 2019 election</a> <h2 style="font-size:16px;">Campaigns and issues</h2> <p>The three-month long campaign was dominated by economic issues, the fight against corruption and protecting albinos among others.</p> <p>While Mutharika claimed to have fixed the economy, arguing for <a href="https://www.africanews.com/2019/05/19/malawi-s-president-makes-final-plea-for-re-election-in-tight-race/"target="_blank">stability,</a> the opposition insisted he was presiding over a <a href="https://www.africanews.com/2019/05/19/malawi-s-opposition-candidates-wrap-up-campaigns/"target="_blank">corrupt</a> government and had not done enough to create employment opportunities, especially for the youth.</p> <h2 style="font-size:16px;">Voting day</h2> <p>On May 21, 74% of the 6,859,570 registered voters cast their votes in what was largely an incident-free polling day. The vice-president Chilima however had to wait at least 40 minutes before he could vote, because his name had been transferred from his official polling station.</p> <h2 style="font-size:16px;">Trouble during tallying process</h2> <p>While campaign and voting were largely peaceful, Malawi’s Electoral Commission (<span class="caps">MEC</span>) ran into some trouble during the tallying process. </p> <p>Opposition parties accused the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (<span class="caps">DPP</span>) of colluding with <span class="caps">MEC</span> to rig the election. Chakwera’s Malawi Congress Party (<span class="caps">MCP</span>) successfully filed an <a href="https://www.africanews.com/2019/05/27/malawi-poll-aftermath-injunction-arrests-vp-s-nullification-petition/"target="_blank">injunction</a> stopping the declaration of results, citing irregularities including including results sheets with sections blotted out or altered with correction fluid.</p> <h2 style="font-size:16px;">Mutharika wins, opposition protests</h2> <p>Two days later, court lifted the injunction, allowing <span class="caps">MEC</span> to declare the results which showed that Mutharika had <a href="https://www.africanews.com/2019/05/27/peter-mutharika-wins-malawi-s-presidential-election-official/"target="_blank">won</a> the presidential election with 38.57% of votes cast, while Chakwera scored 35.41% and Chilima came third with 20.24%.</p> <p>Mutharika has since been sworn-in and called for national <a href="https://www.africanews.com/2019/05/29/malawi-opposition-defiant-as-president-mutharika-appeals-for-unity/"target="_blank">unity,</a> while the opposition’s Chakwera has vowed to continue <a href="https://www.africanews.com/2019/05/31/malawi-president-inaugurated-main-opposition-announces-protests/"target="_blank">petitioning</a> the courts to annul the results.</p> <p>The 78-year-old president now has the task to deliver on his campaign pledges of clean governance and economic revival.</p> <a style="font-size:16px; font-color:yellow;" href="https://www.africanews.com/2019/05/28/polls-open-in-malawi-s-tripartite-elections/"target="_blank"><span class="caps">READ</span> <span class="caps">MORE</span>: Tracking Malawi’s election from voting to inauguration</a>
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