Malawi: Opposition Leader Takes Up MP Seat, Leads Election Protest March


Malawian opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera has been sworn in as a member of parliament following elections held last month. He will now serve as the official leader of the opposition.

Chakwera has disputed the outcome of the May 21 polls, with his Malawi Congress Party (MCP) alleging that the vote was rigged and holding demonstrations to protest the outcome.

Official results put the party’s presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera on 35.41% of the vote compared to incumbent President Mutharika on 38.57% of the vote, with just 159,000 votes separating the two.

The MCP has called on the electoral commission to nullify the results.

Chakwera is scheduled to lead supporters in a March for Justice in Lilongwe today, protesting the “Tippex Government” to coincide with court hearings on the Malawi election dispute in the High Court. The term “Tippex Government” refers to specific allegations that correction fluid was used on some of the election results sheets.

The outcome of the polls is also being challenged by United Transformation Movement (UTM) leader and former Vice President Saulos Chilima. President Mutharika has called on the courts to dismiss the opposition petitions on the basis that they are irregular, incompetent and incurably defective.