Malawi’s constitutional court has annulled last year’s presidential election over widespread irregularities and ordered a new vote within 151 days.
President Peter Mutharika won a second term in May with 38.6% of the vote in the May 21, 2019 election, but opposition candidates Lazarus Chakwera, who came second, and Saulos Chilima, who finished third, challenged the results in court, saying the election was neither free nor fair.
The court ruled that Mr Mutharika will stay in power until a new election takes place. It is the first election to be legally challenged since Malawi’s independence in 1964.
The judges arrived in court in the capital, Lilongwe, under military escort.
How did other candidates performed last May in Malawi election?
Mr Chakwera garnered 35.4% of the vote as the flag bearer for the Malawi Congress Party while Mr Chilima, a former ally of the president, got 20.2% under the UTM party.
BBC reported that “There is a high level of anxiety in the country following months of tense clashes between the police and opposition supporters. Many schools were closed and some public transport had been suspended ahead of Monday’s court decision”.