2019 Malawian general election

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2019 Malawian general election
Flag of Malawi.svg
  2014 21 May 2019 2020  
Registered6,859,570
Turnout74.44%
  Arthur Peter Mutharika 2014 (cropped).jpg Lazarus Chakwera Profile (cropped).png Saulos Klaus Chilima, Vice President of Malawi 2017 (cropped).jpg
Nominee Peter Mutharika Lazarus Chakwera Saulos Chilima
Party DPP MCP UTM
Running mate Everton Chimulirenji Sidik Mia Michael Usi
Popular vote1,940,7091,781,7401,018,369
Percentage38.57%35.41%20.24%

2019 Malawi Presidential Election Results Map.png
Presidential Election Results by District. Blue denotes provinces won by Mutharika, Red denotes provinces won by Chakwera, and Crimson denotes those won by Chilima.

President before election

Peter Mutharika
DPP

Elected President

None (election results annulled)

General elections were held in Malawi on 21 May 2019 to elect the President, National Assembly and local government councillors. [1] Incumbent President Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party was re-elected, with his party remaining the largest in the National Assembly. However, on 3 February 2020, the Constitutional Court annulled the presidential election results due to evidence of irregularities, and ordered fresh elections be held. [2] They were widely dubbed the "Tipp-Ex elections" after a brand of correction fluid which opponents claimed had been used to tamper with votes.

Contents

Electoral system

The President of Malawi is elected using the first-past-the-post system; the candidate that receives the most votes is the winner of the election. [3] The 193 members of the National Assembly are also elected by first-past-the-post voting in single-member constituencies. [4]

Presidential candidates

A total of ten candidates registered to contest the elections. [5] Incumbent President Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ran for a second term in office. [6] Vice-President Saulos Chilima also contested the election as the United Transformation Movement (UTM) candidate, having left the DPP in 2018. [7] The other candidates included Lazarus Chakwera (Malawi Congress Party) and Atupele Muluzi (United Democratic Front).

Former president Joyce Banda (People's Party) had originally planned to run for the presidency, but withdrew her candidacy two months before the election; [8] she later endorsed opposition candidate Lazarus Chakwera. [9] [10] Ras Chikomeni Chirwa was disqualified due to lack of funds and failing to collect enough signatures. [11]

Results

President

CandidateRunning matePartyVotes%
Peter Mutharika Everton Chimulirenji Democratic Progressive Party 1,940,70938.57
Lazarus Chakwera Sidik Mia Malawi Congress Party 1,781,74035.41
Saulos Chilima Michael Usi United Transformation Movement1,018,36920.24
Atupele Muluzi Frank Tumpale Mwenifumbo United Democratic Front 235,1644.67
Peter KuwaniArchibald Kalawang'omaMbakuwaku Movement for Development20,3690.40
John Eugenes ChisiTimothy Watch KamuleteUmodzi Party19,1870.38
Hadwick KaliyaMabvuto Alfred Ng'onaIndependent15,7260.31
Total5,031,264100.00
Valid votes5,031,26498.54
Invalid/blank votes74,7191.46
Total votes5,105,983100.00
Registered voters/turnout6,859,57074.44
Source: Malawi Electoral Commission

National Assembly

PartyVotes%Seats+/–
Democratic Progressive Party 1,293,79726.0462+11
Malawi Congress Party 1,108,73522.3255+7
United Transformation Movement 491,8459.904New
United Democratic Front 227,3354.5810–4
People's Party 121,0722.445–21
Alliance for Democracy 24,2120.4910
Other parties40,2090.8100
Independents1,660,56933.4355+3
Vacant1
Total4,967,774100.001930
Valid votes4,967,77497.97
Invalid/blank votes103,1742.03
Total votes5,070,948100.00
Registered voters/turnout6,859,57073.93
Source: Maravi Post, MEC

Aftermath

The results of the 2019 elections were highly controversial and opposition leaders led by Lazarus Chakwera and Saulos Chilima disputed the results in court. Nationwide protests were held in May, June, and July 2019 in which supporters of the opposition accused the results of being rigged by Mutharika and Jane Ansah, chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission, calling for Ansah’s resignation. Malawian youth organised a "Jane Ansah Must Fall" campaign, which included days of protests in several cities. In response, thousands of women in Malawi held "I am Jane Ansah" solidarity protests after alleging that Ansah was the victim of gender discrimination. [12] [13]

On 3 February 2020, the Constitutional Court judges arrived in Lilongwe to read the disputed presidential election results judgement after travelling in a military vehicle with a heavy police escort. The judges took turns to read the 500-page decision over more than seven hours. [14] The ruling nullified the results of the presidential election, concluding they had not met the standards of a free and fair election and that the Malawi Electoral Commission had failed to uphold its constitutional responsibilities. The judgement cited tampering of results, failure to address complaints raised by opposition candidates, and numerous other malpractices. [2] The ruling also called into question the use of a plurality system in the presidential elections, stating the Malawi Constitution requires a majority of votes. [2]

Mutharika was declared not duly elected and thus no longer President. The judges ordered fresh elections be held within 150 days. [15]

Although DPP won a plurality of seats, elections in three of the seats it won were annulled due to irregularities, and thus they were reduced to 59 lawmakers in the Parliament. [16]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Politics of Malawi</span> Political system of Malawi

Politics of Malawi takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Malawi is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. There is a cabinet of Malawi that is appointed by the President of Malawi. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The government of Malawi has been a multi-party democracy since 1994. The Economist Intelligence Unit rated Malawi a "hybrid regime" in 2019.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Elections in Malawi</span> Political elections for public offices in Malawi

Malawi elects on the national level a head of state – the president – and a legislature. The president and the vice-president are elected on one ballot for a five-year term by the people. A simple plurality is required to win; there is no provision for a runoff election. The National Assembly has 193 members, elected for a five-year term in single-seat constituencies. Malawi is a multi-party system, which means that there are multiple parties as well as a number of independent politicians who do not formally associate with any party.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Democratic Progressive Party (Malawi)</span> Political party in Malawi

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is a political party in Malawi. The party was formed in February 2005 by Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika after a dispute with the United Democratic Front (UDF), which was led by his predecessor, Bakili Muluzi.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Tembo</span> Malawian politician (born 1932)

John Zenus Ungapake Tembo is a Malawian politician who served for years as President of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). Tembo comes from the Dedza District in central Malawi, and he is a teacher by profession. Beginning in the 1960s he was an important politician in Malawi, and he was a key figure in the regime of Hastings Banda (1964–1994). He has been variously described as "physically slight, ascetic, fastidious" and "cunning". He was replaced as President of the MCP in August 2013.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gwanda Chakuamba</span>

Gwandaguluwe "Gwanda" Chakuamba Phiri was a Malawian politician who was the leader of the New Republican Party (NRP). He hailed from Nsanje, a district on the southern part of Malawi. Gwanda Chakuamba attended Zomba Catholic Secondary School, a 2 year metriculation at Sulosi College in Bulawayo Zimbabwe before proceeding to the US to study law though not much is known about whether he did a degree program or a short course.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joyce Banda</span> President of Malawi from 2012 to 2014

Joyce Hilda Banda is a Malawian politician who was the President of Malawi from 7 April 2012 to 31 May 2014. Banda took office as President following the sudden death of President Bingu wa Mutharika. She is the founder and leader of the People's Party, created in 2011. An educator and grassroots women's rights activist, she was the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2009 and the Vice-President of Malawi from May 2009 to April 2012. She had served in various roles as a member of Parliament and as Minister of Gender and Child Welfare before she became the President of the Republic of Malawi.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2009 Malawian general election</span>

General elections were held in Malawi on 19 May 2009. Incumbent President Bingu wa Mutharika ran for re-election; his main opponent was John Tembo, the president of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). Five other candidates also ran. The election was won by Mutharika, who was re-elected to the Presidency with around two-thirds of the vote. Mutharika's DPP also won a strong parliamentary majority.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Peter Mutharika</span> President of Malawi from 2014 to 2020

Arthur Peter Mutharika is a Malawian politician and lawyer who was President of Malawi from May 2014 to June 2020. Mutharika has worked in the field of international justice, specialising in international economic law, international law and comparative constitutional law. He informally served as an adviser to his older brother, President Bingu wa Mutharika, on issues of foreign and domestic policy from the onset of his election campaign until the President's death on 5 April 2012.

Sidik Mia was a Malawian businessman, politician, and Member of Parliament who held various ministerial positions within the Cabinet of Malawi beginning in 2004, serving as Minister of Transport and Public Works since June 2020. He was the Deputy President of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) until his death due to COVID-19 related illness on 12 January 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic in Malawi. He stood as the vice presidential running mate to Dr. Lazarus Chakwera in the 2019 Malawian general election.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lazarus Chakwera</span> President of Malawi since 2020

Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera is a Malawian theologian and politician who has served as President of Malawi since June 2020. In addition to the Presidency, he also serves as Minister of Defence per Malawian constitution. He has been leader of the Malawi Congress Party since 2013, and was previously Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly following highly controversial elections held on 21 May 2019 which were overturned by the Constitutional Court. He was appointed chairman of SADC on 17 August at the SADC 41st Annual Summit held on 9 August to 19 August in Lilongwe, Malawi. He was President of the Malawi Assemblies of God from 1989 to 14 May 2013.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2014 Malawian general election</span>

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Saulos Klaus Chilima is a Malawian economist and politician who is the incumbent vice president of the Republic of Malawi. Chilima assumed office on 28 June 2020, winning the majority alongside presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera. Chilima also served as the Minister of Economic Planning and Development, as well as Head of Public Sector Reforms, a position he also previously held under the administration of former president Peter Mutharika. Before joining politics, Chilima held key leadership positions in various multi-national companies including Unilever, Coca-Cola and Airtel Malawi, where he rose to become Chief Executive Officer.

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Justice Dr. Jane Mayemu Ansah, S.C. is the former chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission. She is also a former Malawian Supreme Court Judge and was the first female Attorney General in Malawi. She is most known for her role as the head of the Malawi's Electoral Commission during the 2019 general elections. Her role in this position sparked national protests both in support and in opposition to her role due to election irregularities resulting in protestors calling for her resignation. In July 2020, she left Malawi for UK.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2020 Malawian presidential election</span> Election of Lazarus Chakwera as President of Malawi

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Everton Chimulirenji</span> Malawian politician

Everton Chimulirenji is a Malawian politician. He served as the Vice President of Malawi under president Peter Mutharika after they won the 2019 elections. Chimulirenji was not well known before becoming Mutharika’s running mate. Chimulirenji's tenure was short, having served May 2019 to February 2020, when his vice-presidency was voided and he was replaced by his predecessor after the 2019 general election results were nullified.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">United Transformation Movement</span> Political party in Malawi

The United Transformation Movement (UTM) is a political party in Malawi founded by Saulos Chilima, Vice President of Malawi.

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References

  1. MEC announces Malawi tripartite election date: May 21 2019 Nyasa Times, 21 February 2018
  2. 1 2 3 Dionne, Kim Yi; Dulani, Boniface (4 February 2020). "A Malawi court just ordered a do-over presidential election. Here's what you need to know". The Washington Post. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  3. Republic of Malawi: Election for President IFES
  4. Electoral system IPU
  5. 10 to contest for presidency in Malawi May polls Xinhua, 9 February 2019
  6. Malawi's Mutharika Insists He Will Seek Final Presidential Term in 2019 Nyasa Times, 16 May 2018
  7. Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima turns opposition candidate in race for polls in May Archived 28 May 2019 at the Wayback Machine Gulf Times, 14 January 2019
  8. Ex-president Banda pulls out of Malawi presidential race Reuters, 14 March 2019
  9. "Joyce Banda Withdraws from Malawi Presidential Race". VOA. 15 March 2019.
  10. "Malawi ex-leader Banda seals another opposition pact". AFP via Eyewitness News South Africa. 18 March 2019.
  11. Ras Chikomeni pursuing case to be on ballot: Judge refuses injunction ex-parte Nyasa Times, 9 February 2019
  12. Masina, Lameck (21 June 2019). "Malawi Women Protest in Defense of Embattled Election Chairperson". Voice of America. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  13. "Malawi's concerned youths on MEC Chair Jane Ansah must fall campaign". Maravipost.com. 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  14. "Malawi anxiously awaits verdict on alleged presidential election fraud". rfi.fr. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  15. "Malawi top court annuls presidential election results". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  16. "Tonse MPs to move to govt benches in Parliament: DPP to provide opposition leader, MCP ruling party - Malawi Nyasa Times - News from Malawi about Malawi".