Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika has secured another five year term in a keenly contested election the country’s electoral commission said on Monday. It was announcing election results that had been delayed due to allegations of tampering.Voters cast ballots for a president and parliament last Tuesday (May 21) with results due at the weekend.
But on Saturday (May 25) a court granted Malawi’s opposition an injunction after the electoral commission received 147 cases of irregularities – including results sheets with sections blotted out or altered with correction fluid.
On Monday, the court lifted the injunction and the electoral commission confirmed Mutharika’s victory. In a bruising race, Mutharika secured 38.6% of votes, while his two former allies Lazarus Chakwera and Saulos Chilima won 35.4% and 20.2% respectively.
Mutharika, a former law professor, came to power in 2014 and is credited with improving infrastructure and lowering inflation. Malawi won independence from Britain in 1964. It initially enjoyed a period of economic and social stability, partly fueled by tea and tobacco sales. But it’s since seen government debt climb and several severe droughts have increased poverty and its reliance on foreign donors.