Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, a former church leader, has been elected Malawi’s sixth president.
The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has today announced Chakwera, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate, as the winner of the June 23 Presidential Elections.
Chakwera has won the elections with 2.6 million of the 4.4 million votes cast, representing 58.57 percent of the votes.
He has beaten incumbent president Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) who has managed 1.7 million votes. Another candidate in the elections Peter Kuwani received 32,00 votes.
The new Malawi leader forms the new government together with runningmate Saulos Chilima, who was also Vice President of Malawi in the Mutharika administration from 2014 to this year.
Chilima fell out with Mutharika in 2018 and created the UTM which this year joined forces with MCP and other parties to form the Tonse Alliance.
In May, Chakwera noted that Vice Presidents in Malawi have in the past faced slander, mistreatment and underutilization. He claimed that Chilima will have a different experience.
“God has given us Dr Chilima whose courage has confronted this disease and answered the call to cure it on behalf of Malawians, and that is destiny,” said Chakwera.
He also said that the Tonse Alliance which involves nine parties will tear down the wall that divides Malawians and build the bridges that will unite people in the country.
Chakwera and Chilima during their campaign promised to reduce the price fertilizer from around K22,000 to K4,500; to run a corruption free government anchored in the culture of rule of law and constitutionalism; and to bring dignity to the presidency through a culture of servant leadership that will make the presidency the primary driving force for service, change and transformation.
Who is Chakwera?
Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera was born on 5 April, 1955. He is married to Monica Chakwera.
He studied Theology at the University of Malawi and also at universities in South Africa and the Unites States of America.
For 24 years, Chakwera was leader of the Malawi Assemblies of God and he also served as a lecturer at the church’s school of theology.
He left the Assemblies of God in 2013 to join the Malawi Congress Party where he later became president. In the 2014 Presidential Elections, Chakwera ran for presidency and lost to Mr Mutharika.
The electoral commission also declared Mutharika winner in the 2019 Presidential Elections, but Chakwera and Chilima who came second and third respectively in the polls challenged the outcome.
In February this year, the Constitutional Court nullified the 2019 elections and ordered MEC to conduct Fresh Presidential Elections. The Supreme Court upheld the ruling on May 8.
With the court also ruling that the winner of the presidential elections should get 50 percent plus one of the votes cast, Chilima and Chakwera joined forces to contest in the 2020 Elections under the Tonse Alliance.