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Iran Press TV

Malawi's opposition leader wins presidential vote rerun

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 28 June 2020 9:56 AM

Malawi's opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera has won the country's presidential election rerun, the country's electoral commission has announced.

Commission officials announced late on Saturday that Chakwera had defeated incumbent Peter Mutharika with 58.57 percent of support in the Tuesday poll, which drew about 6.8 million voters in the southern African country.

"The commission declares that Lazarus Chakwera… has attained the requisite majority of electorate and is duly elected as president," the electoral commission chairman, Chifundo Kachale, told journalists.

The vote, with a turnout of 64.81 percent, was held almost five months after the country's constitutional court annulled the results of the May 2019 election – which Mutharika had won – over widespread fraud and irregularities, including the use of correction fluid to tamper with result sheets.

"My victory is a win for democracy and justice. My heart is bubbling with joy," Chakwera said after his triumph, which sparked wild late-night celebrations on the streets of the Malawian capital, Lilongwe.

Chakwera won election to a five-year term as president of the country of 18 million.

The outgoing, 79-year-old Mutharika earlier on Saturday claimed there had been voting irregularities, including violence and intimidation against his party's election monitors, but the complaint was dismissed by the Malawian electoral commission.

There were no independent reports of irregularities in the presidential election rerun, and no international observer missions were present in Malawi due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Local observers declared the poll free and fair.

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