Photo by AMOS GUMULIRA / AFP) (Photo by AMOS GUMULIRA/AFP via Getty Images
Malawians Head Back to Voting Polls in Historic Re-election
Malawians will be casting their votes yet again after the country's Constitutional Court ruled that the May elections of 2019 had been rigged.
Malawians are casting their votes today after the Constitutional Court annulled the results of the May, 2019 elections due to rigging, Aljazeera reports. Judges made the ruling based on evidence presented to them which included tally sheets which had been tampered with using correctional fluid. Malawi is the second African country after Kenya to ever annul a presidential election over irregularities.
Current President Peter Mutharika, continues to seek a second term in office with his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). His biggest opposition is Lazarus Chakwera, leader of a coalition party that enjoys the support of nine political parties in Malawi. Last year, President Mutharika won 38.6 percent of the vote and was followed closely by Chakwera whosecured 35 percent and former Vice President Saulos Chilima who managed to secure 20 percent. Following the election results, both Chakwera and Chilima led the charge with regards to the appeal process.
BBC reports that Mutharika has promised Malawians better economic development should they elect him into office saying, "If you give me another five-year term, this country will develop to the level of South Africa or Singapore, London, America or Canada."
Chakwera, on the other hand, is confident that the "50 plus one" system that requires presidential candidates to obtain more than 50 percent of the vote, will work in his favour.
Voters will be making their voices heard for a second time amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. One 34-year-old voter named Innocent Maguya says, "People really want to vote, whether we have coronavirus or not." Maguya adds, "We would rather risk the disease than run the risk of having a president that people don't want. We cannot stop this crucial vote because there are no face masks."
Currently, Malawi has a total of 803 coronavirus cases with at least 11 reported deaths, according to BBC's Coronavirus in Africa tracker.
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