New Malawian president, Lazarus Chakwera, takes oath of office

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Lazarus Chakwera, was earlier today, sworn in as the new President of Malawi after a rerun election.

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, referring to 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.

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.

“There’s no cause for fear because I will be your president and my policy for inclusivity means we are building a new Malawi for all of us,” Mr Chakwera told the BBC Newshour programme.

“I’m not a president of a faction, I’m a president of everyone in the country,” he added.

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.

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