Lazarus Chakwera was sworn in as Malawi president after elections rerun

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Malawi’s opposition party Presidential candidate has been sworn in as President of the country after winning an election rerun.

He defeated his rival, Peter Mutharika, with 58.57 per cent of the votes cast in the country in Tuesday’s poll. This is following the February’s Constitutional court final rule that Mr Mutharika’s victory in the May 2019 elections was tampered with by the ruling party.

Chakwera expressed his gratitude towards the win and told the public it is high time the country has woken up and fought for justice.

“Time has come for us to wake up and to make our dreams come true,” Mr Chakwera noted in his victory speech.

On Saturday, a day prior to the results announcement, Mutharika revealed that when he found the elections unacceptable, it was his sincere hope that “We should take this country forward than backward.”

His run mate Saulos Chilima was sworn in as Vice-President in the same ceremony in Lilongwe. The new president vowed to fight poverty and unite the country. “Time has come for us to go beyond dreaming, the time has come for us to wake up, to arise from slumber and to make our dreams come true,” Mr Chakwera said during his speech.

However, the former President did not attend the ceremony because the law does not require the outgoing president to be present when the successor is taking over, a BBC reporter in Lilongwe revealed.

A return of May 2019 elections was ordered after the Constitutional Court found the original ballot had been marred by widespread irregularities.

Mr Chakwera was born in Lilongwe to a subsistence farmer. He is the opposition leader and a former cleric in the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

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