Malawi’s president, Mutharika narrowly wins re-election

The vote count was released after a court battle over alleged malpractices
Malawian president, Mutharika narrowly wins re-election
FILE PHOTO: President Peter Mutharika of Malawi addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., September 20, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

Malawian President, Peter Mutharika was narrowly re-elected with 38.57 per cent of the vote ahead of opposition leader, Lazarus Chakwera with 35.41 percent, official results from last week’s election showed Monday.

The vote count was released after a court battle, with Chakwera’s party obtaining a temporary injunction to bar the release of results over alleged vote-rigging.

The Malawi Electoral Commission said Mutharika, who heads the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), took nearly 159,000 more votes than Chakwera, of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

The result is likely to trigger criticism from Chakwera, who had warned of alleged attempts to rig the election and said his party’s own count showed him ahead.

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The electoral body stopped releasing results updates Friday after receiving 147 complaints from parties involved in Tuesday’s vote.

Chakwera’s MCP went to court over what it claimed were irregularities in results from 10 of the country’s 28 districts.

Opposition parties have complained that figures on many vote count sheets were altered using correction fluid.

MCP spokesman, Eisenhower Mkaka said at the weekend the party had turned to the courts because of “very glaring irregularities” on results sheets.

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