Thousands of Malawians take to streets to celebrate the victory of the opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera

Thousands of Malawians take to streets to celebrate the victory of the opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera

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Lilongwe — Malawi’s electoral commission has declared opposition alliance leader Lazarus Chakwera the winner of the country’s presidential election rerun.

The announcement late on Saturday came four days after Malawians returned to the polls almost five months after the constitutional court annulled the results of a May 2019 vote over irregularities.

Chakwera, 65, secured the required majority, with 58.57 percent of Tuesday’s vote, the electoral commission said, beating the incumbent Peter Mutharika. Chakwera won election to a five-year term as president of the nation of 18 million people.

“My victory is a win for democracy and justice. My heart is bubbling with joy,” Chakwera said after his win, which sparked wild late night celebrations on the streets of the capital Lilongwe, his stronghold.

In power since 2014, Mutharika was previously declared the winner of last year’s vote with 38.57 percent, ahead of Chakwera who got 35.41 percent and former Vice President Saulos Chillima, with 20.24 percent.

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