Malawian President Joyce Banda congratulated her arch-rival Peter
Mutharika on Saturday after conceding defeat in the country’s
presidential election, following her challenge to the result.
congratulated Mutharika for his “victory in a closely contested
election” and said she was “leaving office a happy person,” according to
Mutharika, leader of the Democratic Progressive
Party,was Friday declared winner of Malawi’s disputed presidential
election after garnering 36.4 per cent of the votes cast.
electoral commission said Mutharika, brother of former president Bingu
wa Mutharika came ahead of Lazarus Chakwera who obtained 27.8 per cent
of the vote and outgoing president Joyce Banda who garnered 20.2 per
Mutharika is 74 years old.
The result was announced
after Malawi’s high court Friday refused to delay the release of results
of the country’s disputed presidential elections for a recount.
“The law is clear, there is no extension,” said high court judge Kenyatta Nyirenda.
ruling cleared the way for the electoral commission to release poll
results by the legal deadline of midnight (2200GMT) Friday.
police patrolled key areas of the commercial capital Blantyre as the
court decision was announced after earlier demonstrations turned
violent, leaving one protester dead.
President Joyce Banda — shown
in early results last week to be running third — had claimed the vote
was marred by “serious irregularities” and declared it “null and void”.
court case calling for a recount was initiated by the Malawi Congress
Party of former dictator Kamuzu Banda after the early results showed
their candidate, Lazarus Chakwera, in second place.
in the tiny, poverty-stricken southern African nation was dogged by
controversy from the start, with some polling stations opening 10 hours
late and some voting stations recording more votes than there were