Malawi has hung Parliament: Chakwera new Leader of Opposition

Malawi will have a hung parliament as no party has an overall majority in the House with independents dominating parliamentary elections amassing 52 seats from 192 that were being competed for on May 20.

A hung parliament occurs when no single party has more than 50% of the seats in the National Assembly. In practice this means that it cannot rely solely on its own MPs to get its legislation through the house.

In declaring the official results in parliamentary and local government elections, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chair Justice Maxon Mbendera disclosed that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of President Peter Mutharika won 50 seats, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) 48, Peoples Party secured 26, United Democratic Front (UDF) got 14 while Chipani Cha Fuko (Davis Chester Katsonga) and Aford (Enock Chihana) got a seat each.

Davis Katsonga:  Former Speaker returns to Parliament with Chipani cha Pfuko
Davis Katsonga: Former Speaker returns to Parliament with Chipani cha Pfuko

When parliament meets, they will elect a Speaker and two deputies.

DPP will also provide Leader of the House while MCP’s leader Lazarous Chakwera automatically becomes the Leader of Opposition. He won Lilongwe Rural North West constituency seat and will be making he is a rockie in the National Assembly.

There will be 162 male MPs in Parliament with women to occupy 30 seats. While 401 male candidates have won Local Government elections as women managed to win 56 of the total 457 wards.

On Local Government elections, DPP got 165 Councillors, MCP comes second with 131, PP 65, UDF 57 and independent Councillors 35. AFORD 1, CCP 2, NASAF 1. Remaining wards pending by-elections are 5.

The official results MEC released on Monday night contradicted earlier claims by MCP officials that based on the party’s unofficial results; it amassed 76 Parliamentary seats, which was deemed as a justification to declare its president, Chakwera legitimate presidential winner.

According to figures released by MEC on Monday night 72 hours after releasing Presidential elections results, a total of 1,292 candidates from 17 political parties contested for the Parliamentary elections against 417 independent candidates. 261 of these candidates were women.

On Local Government Elections, 2, 412 candidates from 18 parties and 576 independent candidates competed. Of these, 419 were women.

Mbendera said the commission is satisfied with the —‘orderly, calm and peaceful manner’ —the electoral process was conducted.

Meanwhile MEC has urged competitors that feel they have a justifiable claim to challenge the results – within its laws- to submit electoral petition to the High Court within seven days.—(Additional reporting by Green Muheya, Nyasa Times)

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