Malawi 2009 Election Results: Pres. Bingu wa Mutharika Re-Elected
UPDATE | May 21, 2009 — Malawi's President Bingu wa Mutharika has won the country's presidential election, according to latest reports.
According to Malawi's electoral commission, Mr. Mutharika has been re-elected to a second term in office as President.
Mutharika, who is president of the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party), will be inaugurated on Friday.
The commission said that he had won 2.7 million votes, with his nearest rival John Tembo winning 1.2 million.
Mr Tembo has alleged that there was election fraud.
The new president is due to be inaugurated on Friday, and several regional leaders are already in Malawi to attend the swearing-in ceremony.
Almost 6 million people turned out to vote in Malawi's general elections on Tuesday, however, the presidential race until today had been "too close to call".
UPDATE | May 21, 2009 — Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika and his party are leading in results from Malawi's recent general elections, however, rival candidate John Tembo, president of the opposition Malawi Congress Party, has cried foul and vowed to contest the outcome in court.
An early lead in vote counting by President wa Mutharika and his party continues to widen. But the news angered opposition leader John Tembo of the Malawi Congress Party, who said there had been widespread fraud. Tembo, a presidential candidate, told a media conference he will contest the outcome in court.
UPDATE | May 20, 2009 — Votes are currently being counted with official election results due to be announced on Thursday.
Officials and observers have both "expressed satisfaction" over the elections, which were conducted peacefully and with high voter turn-out.
Election officials in Malawi have begun counting the vote from Tuesday's elections. The vote is being praised by observers as orderly and marked by few irregularities.
Election observers from Malawi and abroad Wednesday expressed satisfaction over the presidential and parliamentary elections saying they were peaceful and marked by high voter turn-out.
The head of the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa, Denis Kadima, said Tuesday's polling was a vast improvement over elections five years ago which were marred by violence and irregularities.
The race for the country's presidency is a dead heat between the incumbent, Bingu wa Mutharika, who took office as the President of Malawi in May 2004, and his opponent, John Tembo, president of the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
Announcement of Official Results are expected to start after midnight Malawi time. Chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commision said this during a briefing moments ago at the National Results Centre in Blantyre.
Justice Anastasia Msosa advised that it is only her organisation that can release results which people can count on. "We know there are radio stations that have already started announcing some results, but please disregard that," she warned.
NowPublic will be updating this story as results are announced.
Seven candidates are vying for the top job but it is being viewed as a two-horse race between incumbent Bingu Wa Mutharika and his opponent, John Tembo.
The southern African country is also electing a new parliament.
Mr Tembo is backed by ex-President Bakili Muluzi, whose attempt to run for a third term was blocked by the courts.
Background on Mutharika's presidency:
President Bingu wa Mutharika is running for a second term in office. During his term in office, Malawi enjoyed strong economic growth. The agricultural sector grew considerably due to subsidies for artificial fertilizer. However, most Malawians live in extreme poverty and the country is home to a million victims of AIDS. Critics say the president is not interested in the welfare of the poor. Of the other presidential candidates, opposition leader John Tembo is said to stand the most chance of winning the election. None of the parties is expected to win an overall majority in the parliamentary election.
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