PRESIDENT Peter Mutharika has been reelected in a dramatic and closely contested election in Malawi.
The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) declared Mutharika, 78, as the winner having received 38.67% of the total votes cast.
The announcement follows the decision by the High Court in Lilongwe to vacate an injunction sought by one of the main political parties, Malawi Congress Party (MCP), stopping the election from going ahead with the election results.
The injunction was obtained on Saturday, compelling the electoral body not to announce results of some districts, citing irregularities like differences in the number of votes cast as compared to registered voters.
However, in his ruling, Judge Charles Mkandawire said renounced the injunction saying the respondent; MEC is bound by law to announce results within a specific time frame.
“On the stay order that this court had granted, it should be noted that after
hearing the arguments from both sides, the court has appreciated and is satisfied that the said stay order should be discharged.
“The court is very much aware that the respondent is mandated by section 99 of the Parliamentary and Presidential Act to finalise its processes within the timeframe prescribed therein. I therefore order that the respondent is at liberty to proceed with the processes so that it complies with the said Act,” ruled judge Mkandawire.
MCP president, Lazarus Chakwera has has come second with 35.41 while the former vice president, Saulos Chilima of the UTM received 20.24% of the votes cast.
These translate to 1,781,740 votes for Chakwera, 1,018,369 for Chilima and Mutharika’s 1,940,709.
“I congratulate the president elect and his vice. You have been elected by the people of Malawi. I urge you to not betray the trust of Malawians. For those who have not made it today I say this is the decision of the majority of Malawians,” said MEC Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah during the announcement.
Meanwhile, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters have started celebrations in Blantyre.
In a related development, a court seating 300 plus kilometres away in Blantyre was hearing a case where the UTM was seeking the nullification of the tripartite elections.
So far, Police have arrested 34 people in relation to political violence registered in the central region districts over the weekend.