Close

NEW HEAD OF STATE

Lazarus Chakwera: Theology graduate who rose to become Malawi's President

Chakwera has pledged to raise the national minimum wage, among other reforms.

In Summary

• Born in Lilongwe to a subsistence farmer, Chakwera is a philosophy and theology graduate.

• He defeated incumbent Peter Mutharika with 58.57% of the vote in Tuesday's poll, the electoral commission announced late on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: Opposition Malawi Congress Party leader Lazarus Chakwera addresses supporters after a court annulled the May 2019 presidential vote that declared Peter Mutharika a winner, in Lilongwe, Malawi, February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Eldson Chagara/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Opposition Malawi Congress Party leader Lazarus Chakwera addresses supporters after a court annulled the May 2019 presidential vote that declared Peter Mutharika a winner, in Lilongwe, Malawi, February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Eldson Chagara/File Photo

Malawi's opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera on Saturday won the country's rerun presidential vote, officials say.

He defeated incumbent Peter Mutharika with 58.57% of the vote in Tuesday's poll, the electoral commission announced late on Saturday.

Born in Lilongwe to a subsistence farmer, Chakwera, a philosophy and theology graduate has pledged to raise the national minimum wage, among other reforms.

Lazarus Chakwera opposition leader, a former cleric, heads up the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

Mr Chakwera leads a nine-party coalition, the Tonse Alliance, and had the backing of former President Joyce Banda as well as the country's vice-president, Saulos Chilima, as his running mate.

Mr Chilima - who finished third in the 2019 vote - was once an ally of President Mutharika, but has since fallen out with him.

In February, Malawi's constitutional court annulled Mr Mutharika's victory in the May 2019 election, citing vote tampering.

Following the official result on Saturday, Mr Chakwera said his victory was "a win for democracy and justice," adding: "My heart is bubbling with joy."

His supporters took to the streets of the Malawian capital, Lilongwe, sounding car horns and letting off fireworks.

Mr Chakwera is expected to be sworn in on Sunday.


More: