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Mutharika Leads in Partial Results From Malawi's Presidential Election

  • VOA News

Malawian presidential candidate Peter Mutharika, brother of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika, gestures during a press conference at his residence in Blantyre, Malawi, May 22, 2014.

Malawian presidential candidate Peter Mutharika, brother of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika, gestures during a press conference at his residence in Blantyre, Malawi, May 22, 2014.

Malawi opposition leader Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party has the lead with 30 percent of the votes counted from the country's presidential election.

The Malawi Electoral Commission announced the first official tally Friday night. Voting took place last Tuesday.

In the results, mostly from polling centers in northern Malawi, Mutharika is leading, while President Joyce Banda of the ruling People’s Party is in second with 23 percent. Lazarus Chakwera of the opposition Malawi Congress Party is third with 18 percent.
Electoral Commission chair Maxon Mbendera says more results will be released when the total vote count reaches 70 percent.

The commission has until May 30 to announce the final tally.

Banda enjoyed huge popularity when she came to power two years ago, but her popularity declined after she was forced to impose austerity measures to stabilize the economy.

Her administration was hit by a $15-million corruption scandal, dubbed 'Cashgate,' after large amounts of cash were discovered in the car of a senior government official.

Lameck Masina contributed to this report.

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