Malawi’s Mutharika re-elected to 2nd term in tight race

Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika arrives to cast his vote at a polling station near Blantyre, Malawi, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. More than 6 million Malawians are voting Tuesday for president, parliament and local councils in the country’s sixth election since the 1994 end of dictatorship. (AP Photo/Thoko Chikondi)

BLANTYRE, Malawi (AP) — Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika has narrowly won re-election with 38% of the votes in last week’s polls.

The Malawi Electoral Commission announced Mutharika’s victory in Blantyre, the largest city, immediately after the High Court in Lilongwe, the capital, threw out an injunction preventing the electoral commission from declaring the winner.

The ban was obtained on Saturday by opposition candidate Lazarus Chakwera, who got 35% of the votes. Former Vice President Saulos Chilima came in third with 20% of the ballots.

In the parliamentary elections, Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party won 63 seats in the legislative body, while Chakwera’s Malawi Congress Party got 55 seats and 52 independents were elected.

Electoral commission chairwoman Jane Ansah said that 5.1 million Malawians voted in the May 21 election, representing 74% of the registered voters.

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