Kenya’s Odinga says Chakwera’s win in Malawi election ‘symbol of hope’ for democracy

The former prime minister of Kenya, veteran politician  Raila Odinga has congratulated Malawi’s new President Lazarus Chakwera for his winning historic rerun of the presidential election, the first time a court-overturned vote in Africa has led to the defeat of an incumbent leader.

Chakwera the new Malawi’s President

Chakwera’s victory late Saturday was a result of months of determined street protests in the southern African nation, and of a unanimous decision by the Constitutional Court that widespread irregularities in the May 2019 election — including the use of correction fluid on ballots —could not stand.

Odinga, who also managed to convince court in Kenya to annul presidential elections results, said the Malawi rerun is good for democracy.

“The Malawi election is a symbol of hope for those who support democracy in Africa and around the world,” tweeted Odinga.

Chakwera, former leader of the Malawi Assemblies of God church, also told reporters. “This is a win for Malawians, a win for democracy.”

President-elect Chakwera, 65, has for the past seven years led Malawi’s oldest party, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), which ruled the country for three decades from 1964 to 1994 under founding President Kamuzu Hastings Banda’s one-party rule.

The MCP had lost all five presidential elections since 1994 but Chakwera made great efforts to rebrand the party, breaking away from Banda’s iron-fisted rule and re-energising its base.

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