President Peter Mutharika who is seeking a second term and is being challenged by opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazarus Chakwera were locked in a neck and neck race Tuesday as exit polls showed, the incumbent is likely to win narrowly in a court sanctioned fresh presidential election that was branded historic.
The nearly seven million registered voters went to the polls on Tuesday, casting their votes to elect elect the country’s President for the next five years from three candidates— Peter Mutharika of DPP, Lazarus Chakwera of MCP and Peter Kuwani of Mbakuwaku Movement for Development (MMD) .
A grouping called Anti-Voter Aparthy Network (Avan) with help of Nyasa Times correspondents, conducted an exit poll covering Lilongwe, Blantyre, Zomba, Mangochi, Mulanje, Chikwawa, Ntcheu, Kasungu, Mzuzu, Mzimba and Karonga.
Immediately after voters exited the polling stations, they shared why they preferred specific candidates.
Some voters said they voted for “the devil they know” but they feel unemployment and corruption are key issues the President should address immediately after elections.
The exit poll showed Mutharika receiving 51.4 per cent of votes and Chakwera 44.3 per cent, Mbakuwaku’s Kuwani accounting for some of the remainder.
Nearly 4 per cent of Malawians included in the survey refused to indicate for whom they had voted in the presidential race.
Dr Jimmy Namangale, associate professor in statistics and senior lecturer in mathematics at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College in Zomba, said while he could not comment on the surveys cited without analysing the methodology, it could give a true reflection.
An election exit poll is one that is conducted immediately after voters have exited the polling stations with an objective of finding out how the respondents voted but more specifically, understand respondents demographics, voters experience at the polling centre, main reasons why they voted for a particular candidate and understand when they made a decision to vote for their favorite candidates.
However, the exit polls are notoriously imprecise, meaning the final results could still swing in either direction.
Malawi’s electoral commission (MEC) has since pledged to deliver a credible results with its chief, Dr. Chifundo Kachale asking the 6.8 million registered voters to trust that their will will be respected.
MCP—Malawi’s oldest political party which left power 26 years ago after a 31-year iron-fist one-party dictatorship led by Malawi’s first president Hastings Kamuzu Banda and UTM Party—who challenged the May 21 2019 presidential results, went to the polls to prove through this election that the previous MEC led by Jane Ansah robbed them of clear victory through “irregularities”.
On the other hand, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) waned to prove that they “won” the May 21 2019 presidential election fair and square
Presidential press secretary Mgeme Kalilani said Mutharika “very jovial, calm and confident, saying he is looking forward to the “triumph of democracy and the will of the people.”
He is further calling upon Malawians to remain calm and orderly.
Vote counting in underway across the country and results will be declared withing a period of eight days.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :