- President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi has opened a huge gap to his opponents, a margin that will assure him a second term in office and with a comfortable majority in parliament.
According to preliminary results, Mr Muthakira already has a 3-1 lead against the opposition alliance led by John tembo, which is said to have so far only amassed a quarter of the national vote.
The opposition has however launched a bitter protest of rife fraud and rigging, mentioning that in some polling areas ballot material was transported in open envelopes before tallying, making it open for fraud.
International observers have also, though saying the elections went generally well, cited that the playing field was somehow biased, especially with the use of the state media in favour of the president and his ruling party. Some suggestions have also pointed at a possible rife misuse of state funds and property by the ruling party for its campaign.
Both the European Union and the Commonwealth observer teams expressed concerns mainly with the pre-election campaignand the use of state resources.
In their preliminary report, the SADC Electoral Observer Mission said it had come to the conclusion that though some of the concerns raised were pertinent, they were nevertheless not of such magnitude as to affect the credibility of the overall electoral process.
"It is SADC’s overall view that the elections were conducted in an open and transparent manner. SADC was impressed by the patience of voters who were able to express their franchise peacefully, freely and unhindered. In all polling stations there were party agents, security and the expected electoral management personnel.
"Indeed, the way that the people of Malawi have been able to express their will in an impressively instructive manner is a valuable contribution for the consolidation of democracy and political stability, not only in Malawi but in the SADC region as well as in the African Continent at large," the SADC mission said in their report.
The mission further urged all political parties and candidates to respect the will of the people and that any grievances that they might have should be pursued in line with the relevant laws of the country.
Mr Mutharika became Malawi's president following the 2004 elections and taking over from Bakili Muluzi, who was disqualified to run for a third term in the 2009 elections, forcing him for force an alliance with Mr Tembo.
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