Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) president Peter Mutharika has expressed confidence that he will be declared winner of the Tuesday’s elections but urged his supporters to stay calm, and to keep the peace awaiting declaration of official results.
Unofficial results put Mutharika neck-and-neck with cleric-turned-politician Lazarus Chakwera, candidate for the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
Speaking to journalists at his residence in the upmarket suburb of Nyambadwe in the commercial capital, Blantyre, Mutharika said he was concerned with the delay in announcing results.
“People are anxious because they wuuld like to know the results of the elections and I have asked people to remain calm and that all of us, the so-called leaders, should avoid inciting people, people are really worked up, they want to know the results, but we should ask people to remain calm,” he said the Washington State University constitutional law professor.
Mutharika said his party has faith in the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairman Supreme Court of Appeal judge Justice Maxon Mbendera.
“I think MEC is doing its best; I am convinced the chairman is a man of great integrity and a brilliant lawyer and I know he is doing everything he can to make sure this process works. We should give him and the commission the opportunity to make things,” he said.
Mutharika said leaders and electoral stakeholders must be extremely careful of what they say when the electoral commission announces its results.
“Any statement that is going to incite violence I think we should avoid because there are not good for the country. There are no official results anyway; let’s wait for the official results. When the official results come – I don’t know when – that’s when we should start conceding defeat or declaring victory, so let’s wait for official results,” he said.
Mutharika also trashed claims by outgoing President Joyce Banda that his party committed an electoral fraud, saying the allegations were utterly “false”.
MEC also dismissed President Banda’s allegations.