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Lazarus Chakwera wins historic poll rerun, sworn in as President of Malawi

Lazarus ChakweraMalawi’s opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera has won the landlocked country’s rerun presidential vote, officials say.

He defeated incumbent Peter Mutharika with 58.57% of the vote in Tuesday’s poll, the electoral commission announced late on Saturday June 27, 2020.

In February, Malawi’s constitutional court annulled Mr Mutharika’s victory in the May 2019 election, citing vote tampering.

The country was bitterly divided in the run-up to this week’s election.

It is the second African nation to annul a presidential election over irregularities, after Kenya in 2017.

Lazarus Chakwera has officially been sworn in as President of Malawi, after taking his oath of office on Sunday.

He was backed by other opposition parties with his vice president being Mutharika’s previous vice, Saulos Chilima.

Chakwera contested and lost the 2014 presidential elections, garnering 27.8% of the votes cast against president Mutharika’s 36.4%.

Until he contested last year’s election he was the leader of opposition Malawi’s parliament, and president of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) since 2013.

In his acceptance speech, he promised to serve the people and not rule over them.

“The time is up for us to stop dreaming. With your help, we’ll restore your faith by being a government that stands for the need of Malawians,” the new southeastern Africa president said.

Chakwera said “I know there are many of you who didn’t vote me and the prospect of my presidency give you fear, I want you know that my administration will strive to give equal opportunities for all of us together.”

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