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2019 Malawian general election

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2019 Malawian general election

← 2014 21 May 2019 2020 →
Registered6,859,570
Turnout74.44%
 
Nominee Peter Mutharika Lazarus Chakwera Saulos Chilima
Party DPP MCP UTM
Running mate Everton Chimulirenji Sidik Mia Michael Usi
Popular vote 1,940,709 1,781,740 1,018,369
Percentage 38.57% 35.41% 20.24%

Presidential Election Results by District. Blue denotes provinces won by Mutharika, Red denotes provinces won by Chakwera, and Crimson denotes those won by Chilima.

President before election

Peter Mutharika
DPP

Elected President

Election results annulled
Lazarus Chakwera elected in 2020

General elections were held in Malawi on 21 May 2019 to elect the President, National Assembly and local government councillors.[1] Incumbent President Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party was re-elected, with his party remaining the largest in the National Assembly. However, on 3 February 2020, the Constitutional Court annulled the presidential election results due to evidence of irregularities, and ordered fresh elections be held.[2] They were widely dubbed the "Tipp-Ex elections" after a brand of correction fluid which opponents claimed had been used to tamper with votes.

Electoral system

The President of Malawi is elected using the first-past-the-post system; the candidate that receives the most votes is the winner of the election.[3] The 193 members of the National Assembly are also elected by first-past-the-post voting in single-member constituencies.[4]

Presidential candidates

A total of ten candidates registered to contest the elections.[5] Incumbent President Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ran for a second term in office.[6] Vice-President Saulos Chilima also contested the election as the United Transformation Movement (UTM) candidate, having left the DPP in 2018.[7] The other candidates included Lazarus Chakwera (Malawi Congress Party) and Atupele Muluzi (United Democratic Front).

Former president Joyce Banda (People's Party) had originally planned to run for the presidency, but withdrew her candidacy two months before the election;[8] she later endorsed opposition candidate Lazarus Chakwera.[9][10] Ras Chikomeni Chirwa was disqualified due to lack of funds and failing to collect enough signatures.[11]

Results

President

Candidate Party Votes %
Peter Mutharika Democratic Progressive Party 1,940,709 38.57
Lazarus Chakwera Malawi Congress Party 1,781,740 35.41
Saulos Chilima United Transformation Movement 1,018,369 20.24
Atupele Muluzi United Democratic Front 235,164 4.67
Peter Kuwani Mbakuwaku Movement for Development 20,369 0.40
John Eugenes Chisi Umodzi Party 19,187 0.38
Hadwick Kaliya Independent 15,726 0.31
Invalid/blank votes 74,719
Total 5,105,983 100
Registered voters/turnout 6,859,570 74.44
Source:

National Assembly

Party Vote % Seat +/–
Democratic Progressive Party 1,293,797 26.04 62 +11
Malawi Congress Party 1,108,735 22.32 55 +7
United Transformation Movement 491,845 9.90 4 New
United Democratic Front 227,335 4.58 10 –4
People's Party 121,072 2.44 5 –21
Alliance for Democracy 24,212 0.49 1 0
Other parties 40,209 0.81 0 0
Independents 1,660,569 33.43 55 +3
To be determined 1
Invalid/blank votes 103,174
Total 5,070,948 100 193 0
Registered voters/turnout
Source: ,

Local elections

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Democratic Progressive Party
Malawi Congress Party
United Transformation Movement New
Independents New
Invalid/blank Votes
Total 100
Registered voters/turnout 6,859,570
Source: ,

Aftermath

The results of the 2019 elections were highly controversial and opposition leaders led by Lazarus Chakwera and Saulos Chilima disputed the results in court. Nationwide protests were held in May, June, and July 2019 in which supporters of the opposition accused the results of being rigged by Mutharika and Jane Ansah, chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission, calling for Ansah’s resignation. Malawian youth organised a "Jane Ansah Must Fall" campaign, which included days of protests in several cities. In response, thousands of women in Malawi held "I am Jane Ansah" solidarity protests after alleging that Ansah was the victim of gender discrimination.[12][13]

On 3 February 2020, the Constitutional Court judges arrived in Lilongwe to read the disputed presidential election results judgement after travelling in a military vehicle with a heavy police escort. The judges took turns to read the 500-page decision over more than seven hours.[14] The ruling nullified the results of the presidential election, concluding they had not met the standards of a free and fair election and that the Malawi Electoral Commission had failed to uphold its constitutional responsibilities. The judgement cited tampering of results, failure to address complaints raised by opposition candidates, and numerous other malpractices.[2] The ruling also called into question the use of a plurality system in the presidential elections, stating the Malawi Constitution requires a majority of votes.[2]

Mutharika was declared not duly elected and thus no longer President. The judges ordered fresh elections be held within 150 days.[15]

Although DPP won plurality of seats, elections in three of the seats it won were annulled due to irregularities, and thus they were reduced to 59 lawmakers in the Parliament.[16]

References

  1. ^ Nyasa Times, 21 February 2018
  2. ^ a b c Dionne, Kim Yi; Dulani, Boniface (4 February 2020). . The Washington Post. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  3. ^ IFES
  4. ^ IPU
  5. ^ Xinhua, 9 February 2019
  6. ^ Nyasa Times, 16 May 2018
  7. ^ 28 May 2019 at the Wayback Machine Gulf Times, 14 January 2019
  8. ^ Reuters, 14 March 2019
  9. ^ . VOA. 15 March 2019.
  10. ^ . AFP via Eyewitness News South Africa. 18 March 2019.
  11. ^ Nyasa Times, 9 February 2019
  12. ^ Masina, Lameck (21 June 2019). . Voice of America. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  13. ^ . Maravipost.com. 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  14. ^ . rfi.fr. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  15. ^ . Al Jazeera. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  16. ^
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2019 Malawian general election
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