Lazarus Chakwera appeared headed for a victory in a re-run of a presidential vote that was scrapped over massive irregularities.
Malawi’s opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera appeared headed for a victory Thursday in a re-run of a presidential vote that was scrapped over massive irregularities, unofficial tallies showed.
Voters went to the polls on Tuesday for a second time in a year to elect a president after the Constitutional Court ordered fresh elections in a historic vote seen as a test for democracy in the southern African country.
Results compiled from each of the 5,002 polling centres and tallied by the public broadcaster MBC and Times newspaper, gave Chakwera a dominant 59 percent lead ahead of incumbent President Peter Mutharika‘s 38 percent.
Mutharika, in power since 2014, won 38.5 percent of last year’s discredited vote in which Chakwera garnered 35.4 percent.
The country’s electoral commission said Thursday it had received results from 26 of the country’s 28 districts — representing 82 percent of the total vote.
But it did not say when it would release the full results as it appealed for patience and calm.
The cancellation of Mutharika’s victory, was historic as it made Malawi just the second country south of the Sahara to have presidential poll results set aside, after Kenya in 2017.
Rarely do courts in Africa annul election victories of incumbent presidents.
Opposition politicians in neighbouring countries have already congratulated the 65-year old Chakwera.
“New life to Malawi! Congratulations to the President-Elect. Kudos to state organs´ professionalism & citizens´ vigilance.Well done Malawi!,” tweeted Nelson Chamisa, Zimbabwe‘s main opposition Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance (MDC-A).
Mmusi Maimane, the former leader of South Africa’s main opposition, the Democratic Alliance also tweeted “my friend, brother, and leader has just won the Malawian elections. I just got off the phone with him and celebrate his achievement… Change is coming,” Maimane tweeted.