JB confirms leaving as Malawi president

Malawi President Joyce Banda disclosed on Saturday that she is on her way out when she called for another elections in 90 days, saying she will not seek a presidential term.

She said a new vote should be held within 90 days but she would not stand again in any new poll.

“I want to give Malawians an opportunity to choose a candidate of their choice in a free and fair manner. When elections are to be held again, I will be stepping aside,” she added.

 President Banda : Sad to say good bye
President Banda : Sad to say good bye

The President’s statement clearly gave an indication of change in the balance of power as she would only be Head of State for two years only. There will be a new tenant at the plot number one- State House.

The statement also signals to staff at State House that it’s grand finale – time to pack up and go.

Banda however implied that she will remain in power until a next president is elected with “credible” results.

But her decree to nullify the elections has been snubbed by Malawi Electoral Commission chair, Maxon Mbendera, who is also High Court judge.

Lawyers Kalekeni Kaphale, Noel Chalamanda, Patrick Mpaka representing DPP, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), Malawi Law Society (MLS) managed to get two orders at the High Court (1) a stay order stopping the execution of the President directive to annull polls and (2) an order for judicial review of the president’s directive.

The election results have not been officially announced.

President Banda faced a field of 12 candidates in Tuesday’s election, which was troubled by scattered unrest.

Banda was vice president and came to power in 2012 following the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika. Mutharika’s brother, Peter, was a prominent challenger to Banda.

Malawi uses the first-past-the-post system, meaning that the candidate with the largest share of votes, no matter how small a percentage of the total votes cast, is the winner.

Around 7.5 million people were eligible to vote in the fifth elections since the end of one-party rule 20 years ago.

This was the first time that Malawi held presidential, parliamentary and local elections on the same day.

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