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Lazarus Chakwera, leader of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) arriving at the Mtandire suburb of the capital Lilongwe for an election rally. Photo by AMOS GUMULIRA/AFP via Getty Images.

Malawi is only the second African country to annul a presidential election, after Kenya in 2017. It is the first in which the opposition has won the re-run.

The initial May 2019 vote had narrowly returned incumbent Peter Mutharika to the presidency. But in February 2020 a landmark ruling by Malawi’s constitutional court annulled the result citing ‘widespread, systematic and grave’ irregularities, including the now-infamous use of corrective fluid in vote tallying, and the Malawi Electoral Commission’s (MEC) failure to address complaints before announcing results. New elections were ordered within 150 days.

In a decisive contrast with the previous year, the fresh polls on 23 June saw the coming together of Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and running mate Saulos Chilima of the United Transformation Movement (UTM) to head a coalition of nine opposition parties - having fiercely competed as the leading challengers previously.…  Seguir leyendo »

Electoral officials and political party monitors close ballot boxes at the end of voting during Malawi’s presidential election on Tuesday. Malawians returned to the polls for the second time in just over a year after the Constitutional Court in February ruled the May 2019 vote was fraught with “grave and widespread irregularities.” (Amos Gumulira/AFP/Getty Images)

Millions of Malawians cast their vote to elect a new president in Tuesday’s historic election. This was a do-over election ordered by Malawi’s Constitutional Court, which ruled in February to overturn the May 2019 presidential elections and bring about fresh polling.

Incumbent president Peter Mutharika of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lost to Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), the party that ruled during the dictatorship from 1964 to 1994.

Mutharika received only 39.4 percent of the vote while Chakwera received 58.6 percent — a majority of the vote, which rules out the need for a runoff election.…  Seguir leyendo »

Reinstated Malawi Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima, right, greets lawyers on Feb. 3 in Lilongwe. (Amos Gumulira/Afp Via Getty Images)

On Monday, Malawi’s High Court nullified the country’s May presidential elections. The 500-page ruling includes a laundry list of election irregularities — and faults the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) for failing to carry out its responsibilities according to the constitution and electoral law. The court ruled that President Peter Mutharika was “not duly elected” and called for fresh elections within 150 days.

The High Court’s panel of five judges further ruled that the simple plurality standard that has determined the winner of each presidential election since the return to multiparty competition in 1994 has gone against the “majority” principle in Malawi’s constitution.…  Seguir leyendo »