Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Justice Chifundo Kachale has said the declaration of the winner in the Tuesday’s re-run of last year’s presidential election could be done within two days as Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazarus Chakwera has a comfortable lead over incumbent President Peter Mutharika.
Mutharika, leader of the Democratic Progressive Party, (DPP) faced Chakwera and little known Peter Kuwani of the opposition Mbakuwaku Movement for Democracy (MMD) in the court-sanctioned fresh presidential elections.
Announcing partial results at the main tally center Thursday in Blantyre, MEC Chairperson Kachale , a judge of the High Court of Malawi, said the commission was authenticating every result and determining the final results of Tuesday’s election might be concluded in the next 36 to 48 hours.
“The Commission continued to look at the results and make its determination,” he said.
Kachale stressed that the pollster is committed to “get this job done as soon as possible” and “We wouldn’t want to create any anxiety by delaying this process needlessly.”
However, unofficial aggregated results indicate that Chakwera held a strong lead with 55 percent of the vote, compared to 40 percent for Mutharika.
MCP secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka said: “There could be some changes because unlike in the past, what the Commission is now doing according to the law is to look at the null and void votes.
“So, in some cases they are determining that ‘No, this shouldn’t be a null and void [vote]’. There might be some small, small, changes but not material enough to change anything,” she said.
Voters went to the polls on Tuesday for a second time in just more than a year to elect a president after the Constitutional Court ordered new elections in a historic vote seen as a test for democracy in the southern African country.
The electoral commission has until July 3 to announce the final, which within eight days from the day of voting as required by law.