Malawi's President Peter Mutharika has been declared the winner of the southern African country's second tripartite elections held on May 21, against a backdrop of political violence as results delayed with a court injunction and opposition claims of vote-manipulations.
Mutharika and his State vice president-elect Everton Chimulirenji
Mutharika, a candidate for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won with just under 51 per cent of the vote. He polled 1 930m votes representing 38 percent, to 1 781m votes representing 35.41% percent for his main rival Malawi Congress Party (MCP) torchbearer Lazarus Chakwera. On a distant third, former vice president Saulos Chilima polled 1,018,369 votes representing 20.24 percent .
Announcing the results, MEC chairperson Jane Ansah told a packed Comesa Hall where the national tally centre is located , said to ensure the credibility of the results, the Commission made an undertaking to give all political parties the scanned sheets from all polling stations so that they can cross check with their monitors if there were any discrepancies.
"The purpose was that if they find an anomaly they should lodge a complaint with the Commission.
"However, we saw the tendency that political parties rushed to the media instead of approaching the Commission. This tendency does not resolve matters. As we have witnessed, it only fuels public anxiety and heightens fear and panic among the public," said Ansah.
She said the Commission had put in place several stages of crosschecking the results and had answers and justifications to almost each and every query out there.
Ansah declared that the presidential elections to be "free and fair" saying, the results are "true reflection of the will of Malawians."
She said instead of parties presenting the complaints to MEC, they were being shared to the media.
In Lilongwe the opposition MCP stronghold, many people expressed their disappointment.
"DPP must rule the country forever," said Atwell Mbango. "It's pointless to have elections here."
Chakwera has already rejected any result favouring Mutharika and his MCP accused commission's announcement of trying to massage polling .
Ansah declared President Mutharika the winner and Everton Chimulireni now the State vice-president.
In the May 21 Tripartite Elections, MEC registered 6 859 570 voters. From the results presented, Ansah said 19 985 votes were declared null and void.