Malawi's incumbent President Bingu wa
Mutharika is expected to be sworn in Friday to begin his second five-year term
after winning the May 19 presidential election.
With over 90 percent of the
certified results released by the Independent Electoral Commission, President
Mutharika has over 55 percent of the vote. But main opposition leader John
Tembo of the Malawi Congress Party has rejected the results, claiming the
election was rigged.
Backed by former President Bakili Muluzi in a coalition,
Tembo vowed to challenge the election results in court. VOA's Malawi
correspondent Lameck Masina said that several heads of state in the southern
African region have arrived to participate in Friday's inauguration of
true that Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika has won the elections and the swearing in
ceremony would be held today Friday. In fact according to the information
statistics from the electoral commission, Mutharika has won with a landslide,"
said the opposition leader's objection to the election results has not been
welcomed by some Malawians.
situation is a sort of mixed reaction towards what John Tembo is saying because
Tembo himself when he saw that Mutharika was leading he issued a statement
saying that he will reject the results because he claimed that they were
rigged," he said.
said some of the presidential aspirants have already congratulated incumbent
President Mutharika for winning the just ended election.
fact we have seen some of the presidential contestants have conceded defeat,"
said former President Muluzi also conceded defeat in an interview with a
private local radio station.
the interview he was congratulating Mutharika," he said.
said leaders within the southern African community are in the country to
participate in the swearing in ceremony of President Mutharika.
of them are King Mswati (absolute Monarch of Swaziland) and also Robert Mugabe
of Zimbabwe and Rupiah Banda of Zambia," Masina said.
said the ordinary Malawian reposes confidence in Mutharika's economic policies.
and this would be a continuation of what Mutharika has been doing because one
of the reasons why Mutharika has won is because of the improvement in the
agricultural sector and also improvement in the economy of the country," he
said the large majority of Malawians who voted for the incumbent president are
rejoicing in the streets.
fact Malawians are happy because it is not a surprise that Mutharika has won
because most of the things which Mutharika has done to develop the country are
here to see," Masina said.
John Tembo maintained he had evidence the vote had been rigged and would
present his case in court.
But the Commonwealth election monitoring mission, led by
Ghana's former President John Kufuor said although incumbent President Mutharika
had exploited state media to gain an unfair advantage in the election, Tembo
should drop his protest.
Both local and international observers said the election
was organized in a free and fair environment.
Some Malawi political observers say incumbent President
Mutharika's success in the just ended election could be attributed to his
management of the economy, which they said has performed creditably well with
the country enjoying food security for the first time in as many years.
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Malawi's
economy under President Mutharika had the world's second-fastest growing
There are reported frictions in the opposition coalition
between the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and the United Democratic Front (UDF) led
by former President Bakili Muluzi.
Former President Muluzi has been an arch rival of
Mutharika, leading to a protracted power struggle between the two which almost
paralyzed parliament, prompting a failed impeachment bid and allegations of a
coup plot that reportedly unnerved crucial Western donors.
Muluzi entered into an alliance with MCP after he was
barred from participating in the just ended election and future elections by
the electoral commission.
The electoral body said Muluzi had served the maximum two
consecutive five-year terms as Malawi's leader from 1994 to 2004 making him
ineligible to represent any political party in an election.