The first wave of preliminary results of the recently held Malawi presidential election re-run suggests opposition leader Dr. Lazarus Chakwera cruising to victory with 61 percent of the votes, reported Nyasa Times.
The people of Malawi went to polls on Tuesday for the second time in just over a year after the Constitutional Court dramatically ruled that last year’s election results were marred with “grave and widespread” irregularities. The cancellation of the polls made Malawi the second country south of the Sahara to have presidential poll results set aside, after Kenya in 2017.
The state-owned Malawi Broadcasting Corporation and private media have reported Chakwera getting 61% or more votes and President Peter Mutharika obtaining 38% of the votes. But, there is no official tally of the presidential rerun election.
During a news conference on Wednesday, Electoral Commission chairman Chifundo Kachale urged Malawians to be patient and await the official results, which he said were taking time because they wanted to get “a credible record.”
“We are doing it manually. We’ll use records from district tally centres and district commissioners, not social media. Our appeal to Malawians is to be patient,” Kachale said. “We appeal to Malawians to maintain peace and calm as the vote-counting continues.”
The Malawi electoral commission has until July 3 to unveil the results, although the announcement is widely thought likely to come this week.
Various political party leaders and their supporters have also been asked to desist from publishing fabricated results on social media amid concerns that such conduct could undermine the integrity of the political process.
President Mutharika has reportedly complained of violence in opposition strongholds in central Malawi, and questioned whether the result would be credible. His party has also filed a complaint about violence in opposition strongholds in central Malawi, but it is not clear if they will dispute the result if he loses.