Malawi’s new president Lazarus Chakwera was sworn in on Sunday after his victory in fresh elections.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson, Chifundo Kachale, declared Mr Chakwera, leader of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), winner on Saturday night after a count and scrutiny of the vote from the country’s 28 districts and 5,002 polling centres.
Mr Chakwera pledged better times ahead for all Malawians.
“With your help, we will restore a new generation’s faith in the possibility of having a government that serves, not a government that rules; a government that inspires, not a government that infuriates; a government that listens, not a government that shouts; a government that fights for you not against you,’’ he said.
He defeated incumbent Peter Mutharika with 58.57% of votes in Tuesday’s poll.
“I do feel like Lazarus, I’ve come back from the dead,” Mr Chakwera said, talking about the biblical character of the same name.
In February, Malawi’s constitutional court annulled Mr Mutharika’s poll win in May 2019, citing vote tampering and widespread irregularities.
That election saw President Mutharika narrowly re-elected by fewer than 159,000 votes.
Mr Chakwera, who came second in that election, argued that tallying forms had been added up incorrectly and tampered with.
The country was bitterly divided in the run-up to this week’s election. But Mr Chakwera said those who did not support him had nothing to fear.
Mr Chakwera dismissed allegations by Mr Mutharika that the poll was marred by violence and irregularities, saying his predecessor was “misled by rumours”.
However, he said he would not stand in the way of Mr Mutharika should he want to challenge the election.
Saulos Chilima, Mr Chakwera’s running mate, was also sworn in as vice-president at a ceremony in the capital, Lilongwe.
Mr Chakwera, a Pentecostal preacher and former theology lecturer, said his role would be to unite and serve Malawians.