Two presidential candidates in Malawi James Nyondo and Stanley Masauli – have conceded defeat in a race that puts incumbent president Bingu Wa Mutharika in a commanding lead.
However, the main opposition rejected all election results in the country’s central province, citing irregularities in vote counting.
The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) called for counting of ballots in the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections to be halted due to a number of irregularities, including ballots being delivered to counting stations in the central province in open envelopes.
“(The) Malawi Congress Party therefore rejects the results and will not accept the results if Dr Bingu wa Mutharika and the Democratic Progressive Party are declared winners in these elections,” the MCP said in a statement signed by party leader John Tembo.
The central province is a MCP stronghold but Malawian President wa Mutharika had taken a lead in the region in an election seen as a test of political stability in one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Reports say the two sent their messages to the tally centre in the southern African country’s commercial city of Blantyre saying Mutharika has won the elections and that they have conceded defeat looking at the results.
Nyondo and Masauli have since wished Mutharika and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) the best. In the ongoing counting Mutharika has maintained his lead over closest ally John Tembo of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) scooping huge votes.
Nyondo and Masauli are among the six candidates who battled in the presidential race with Mutharika. Others include Loveness Gondwe, Dindi Gowa Nyasulu and Kamuzu Chibambo.
Meanwhile, the country’s electoral body through its chairperson Anastanzia Msosa said Wednesday that the vote counting is going on well and that the voting process was conducted in a free and fair manner without violence.
Malawians went to polls on Tuesday to elect a president and members of parliament.