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Malawi’s Mutharika faces poll dispute storm

Monday, July 29, 2019

Significance

Incumbent President Peter Mutharika of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) narrowly won re-election, ahead of the main opposition candidates, Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and former Vice-President Saulos Chilima of the United Transformation Movement (UTM). The elections were marred by accusations of rigging, and both Chakwera and Chilima have launched court cases to overturn the result amid sizable post-poll protests.

Impacts

  • The opposition has ruled out power-sharing, but this may re-emerge as a compromise option should legal challenges fail.
  • Opposition and civil society groups will increase calls for an amendment to the electoral system, with likely increased public backing.
  • International donors will maintain pressure on the government over persistent budget overruns and elite-level corruption.
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