2019 Malawi presidential election may not be different from Africa’s penchant for making democratic change impossible
Counting started in Malawi’s tight three-way election
by Silja Fröhlich, Deutsche Welle news
President Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is seeking reelection for a second and final five-year term. He’s the brother of deceased former president Bingu wa Mutharika.
In 2014, Peter Mutharika defeated Joyce Banda, who had assumed the presidency on BIngu wa Mutharika’s death. Banda had planned to run for the presidency again this year, but withdrew her candidacy in March.
Now Mutharika faces another rival from 2014: former Christian pastor Lazarus Chakwera, who heads the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and is the opposition leader in the National Assembly.
Mutharika’s second biggest threat is 48-year-old Saulosi Chilema, his estranged deputy, an economist who held key leadership positions in various multi-national companies before going into politics. He is now running for the United Transformation Movement and is expected to pick up a large share of the youth vote.
Malawi held tripartite elections on Tuesday (21.05) to elect a president, members of parliament and local government councilors.
Polling closed at 6pm (4pm GMT) with no serious reports of violence although there were reports of long queues at some polling stations. Some 6.8 million Malawians had registered to vote.
The Malawi Electoral Commission said results would be announced within eight days in line with electoral law, but could be known as early as Wednesday evening.
Eight candidates are vying for Malawi’s presidency — and before the polls, accusing each other of scheming to manipulate the elections.