Dr. Lazarus Chakwera is no longer an opposition leader following his swearing-in as Malawi president on Sunday, yesterday, after winning the election rerun. Dr. Chakwera, 65, trounced the incumbent in a near landslide victory in the election held on Tu...
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Dr. Lazarus Chakwera is no longer an opposition leader following his swearing-in as Malawi president on Sunday, yesterday, after winning the election rerun. Dr. Chakwera, 65, trounced the incumbent in a near landslide victory in the election held on Tuesday last week.
“I, Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera,” his voice boomed over the thunderous applause from thousands of supporters gathered to witness the historic swearing-in event, “do solemnly swear that I will well and truly perform, the functions of the high office of president…..so help me God.”
Chakwera garnered 58.57% of the vote in the Tuesday poll whose results were announced on Saturday by Malawi electoral commission. The rerun followed the February event in which a constitutional court in Malawi annulled the incumbent’s victory citing poll irregularity. The incumbent and immediate former president, Prof. Peter Mutharika, termed the repeat poll “unacceptable”.
The new president and his running mate, Saulos Chilima, were sworn into office in front of tumultuous crowds at Bingu International Convention Centre, Lilongwe, the Malawian capital. In his acceptance speech, Dr. Chakwera said it was time for Malawians to stop dreaming because his would be a government that understands their needs.
The former lecturer of Theology and Pentecostal preacher has his work clearly cut out. The country was sharply divided in the run-up to the polls, and Chakwera’s first task in office will be healing the country before hopefully reviving the economy after years of political turmoil.
Malawi is the second African country to have the presidential elections canceled after Kenya, where the Supreme Court annulled the 2017 presidential results to set the stage for a rerun. However, the Kenyan opposition leader, Raila Odinga, snubbed the repeat polls citing flawed electoral system in the country.