Mutharika wins Malawi presidential vote

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IOL Mutharika AFP Malawi's newly elected President Peter Mutharika married his long-term partner. File picture: Amos Gumulira

Blantyre - Peter Mutharika, the brother of Malawi's former leader, was declared the winner of the country's disputed presidential election Friday after garnering 36.4 percent of the votes cast.

The electoral commission said the opposition politician came ahead of Lazarus Chakwera who obtained 27.8 percent of the vote and outgoing president Joyce Banda who won 20.2 percent.

Electoral commission chief Maxon Mbendera declared Mutharika “president-elect” after last week's vote that Banda claimed was marred by “serious irregularities” and “null and void”.

A law professor and former cabinet minister, Mutharika, 74, is the brother of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika.

The election in the tiny and poor 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 registered voters.

Anyone with complaints has seven days to lodge petitions to the courts.

The results were announced minutes after a court refused to grant an extension for a recount that had been sought by Chakwera.

Riot police patrolled key areas of the commercial capital Blantyre as the results were awaited after earlier demonstrations turned violent, leaving one protester dead. - Sapa-AFP

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