Lazarus Chakwera addressing a campaign rally (file pic)Picture copyright

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Lazarus Chakwera’s political fortunes had been revived by a court docket ruling that annulled final yr’s flawed election

Lazarus Chakwera has been sworn in as president of Malawi after successful an election rerun.

“Time has come for us to get up and to make our desires come true,” Mr Chakwera mentioned in his victory speech.

He defeated incumbent Peter Mutharika with 58.57% of the vote in Tuesday’s ballot.

In February, Malawi’s constitutional court docket annulled Mr Mutharika’s victory within the Could 2019 election, citing vote tampering.

The nation was bitterly divided within the run-up to this week’s election.

Different international locations in Africa have had elections annulled – it occurred in Kenya in 2017 – however for the opposition candidate to then go on and win a rerun is unprecedented.

Talking forward of Saturday’s outcomes, Mr Mutharika mentioned that whereas he discovered the election “unacceptable”, it was his “honest hope that we should always take this nation ahead as an alternative of backwards.”

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Saulos Chilima, Mr Chakwera’s operating mate, was additionally sworn in as vice-president at a ceremony within the capital, Lilongwe.

Mr Chakwera, a Pentecostal preacher and former theology lecturer, will first should heal a nation that has been by many months of political turmoil.

What did the brand new president say?

“Fellow Malawians to face earlier than you as your president right now is an honour,” Mr Chakwera mentioned in a speech after being sworn in.

He vowed to unite the nation and combat poverty.

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“Of what use is freedom from oppression when you and I are slaves to hunger? Or freedom from colonialism if you’re a slave to tribalism?,” he mentioned.

“Time has come for us to transcend dreaming, time has come for us to get up, to come up from slumber, and to make our desires come true,” Mr Chakwera mentioned.

“Together with your assist we are going to restore religion in having a authorities that serves; not a authorities that guidelines, a authorities that conjures up, not a authorities that infuriates, a authorities that listens, not a authorities that shouts however a authorities that fights for you and never in opposition to you,” he added.

Mr Mutharika didn’t attend the ceremony as a result of the regulation doesn’t require the outgoing president to be current when a successor is taking up, the BBC’s Peter Jegwa in Lilongwe stories.

Why was there a brand new vote?

A rerun of the 2019 election was ordered after the Constitutional Court docket discovered the unique poll had been marred by widespread irregularities.

That election noticed President Mutharika narrowly re-elected by fewer than 159,000 votes.

Mr Chakwera, who got here second in that election, argued that tallying kinds had been added up incorrectly and tampered with.

A woman voting in Malawi, 21 May 2019

Getty Photos

Malawi’s 13-month election

First electionon 21 Could 2019

Mutharikasworn in on 27 Could 2019

Hundreds proteston 20 June 2019, complaining of fraud

Constitutional court docketoverturns outcome on 3 February 2020 and orders re-run

Court docket rejectsMutharika’s attraction on 8 Could 2020

Supply: BBC

Uncertainty across the outcome sparked months of stress, which spilled over into clashes between opposition supporters and police.

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February’s annulment led some to rejoice, however Mr Mutharika described it as a “severe subversion of justice” which marked the demise of the nation’s democracy.

There have been issues over the logistics and security of finishing up an election within the midst of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

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This week’s rerun was largely peaceable, regardless of deep tensions

Who’s Lazarus Chakwera ?

The opposition chief, a former cleric, heads up the opposition Malawi Congress Get together (MCP).

Born in Lilongwe to a subsistence farmer, the philosophy and theology graduate has pledged to boost the nationwide minimal wage, amongst different reforms.

Lazarus Chakwera


Lazarus Chakwera

Candidate for the Tonse Alliance

Born 5 April 1955

Studied theology in Malawi, South Africa and USA

Pastor and lecturer labored on the Assemblies of God College of Theology

Authored a number of books on faith together with Attain the Nations

Ran for president in 2014 and got here second

Supply: BBC Monitoring

Mr Chakwera leads a nine-party coalition, the Tonse Alliance, and had the backing of former President Joyce Banda as nicely Mr Chilima, who served as deputy to Mr Mutharika.

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