Malawi’s opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera was answered on Sunday as the country’s new president after winning Tuesday’s re-election of a disputed election.
Chakwera, 65, a former evangelist preacher, was declared the winner with nearly 59 percent of the vote, according to the results announced on Saturday.
“I solemnly swear that I will, well and truly, perform the functions of the President’s high office Republic of Malawi and that I will preserve and defend the constitution, Chakwera said as he took his oath to thousands of supporters.
Saulos Chilima was inducted as Vice President.
Nearly seven million Malawians returned to the elections on Tuesday after the country’s highest court found that the first election had been damaged by widespread irregularities – including the use of corrective fluid to tamper with results sheets.
Chakwera, leader of the Malawi Congress party, was named the winner with 2.6 million votes, while President Peter Mutharika took 1.75 million. Peter Dominico Kuwani demanded just over 32,000 votes
Mutharika, fresh Democratic progressive party had held power since 2014, had won 38 percent of the discredited vote last year, just ahead of Chakwera with about 35 percent.
Malawi is just the second sub-Saharan African country to have chosen the outcome of the presidential election in court, after Kenya 2017. And this is the first time in the region that a re-election has led to a sitting leader having defeated.
“Colleagues Malawians, standing before you is an honor. It is an honor that fills me with unspeakable joy,” said Chakwera.
“It is an honor forged in the oven according to your wish and your demand for change.”
Chakwera spoke to supporters at Lilongwe Freedom Square and promised to offer a government that served all people.
“There are many of you who did not vote for me in this election,” he added. “And maybe the prospect of my presidency fills you with fear,” But Malawi is home to you too … as long as I’m its president, you will also flourish. ”
Mutharika, 79, had argued that the election had again been flawed, citing violence and threats against supervisors.
But Malawi Election Commission rejected the claims and his request for annulment of the results of the second vote and declared a third questionnaire