Malawi 2020 Presidential Elections to hold amid covid-19

Malawi national coat of arms

Presidential elections set to hold amid covid-19 according to the courts of the Republic of Malawi come July 2020. Malawi is a landlocked country in Southeastern Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the west, Tanzania to the north and northeast, and Mozambique surrounding on the east, south, and southwest.

At the time of this publication, confirmed covid-19 cases in Malawi stood at 41, with 9 recoveries and 3 recorded deaths.

Now scheduled for July 2, 2020, the Malawian Presidential elections were originally planned for May of this year. This decision is a result of the annulment of the results of the 2019 presidential elections.

In the May 2019 general elections, incumbent President Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was re-elected with 39% of the vote, defeating Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party who earned 35% of the polls and Saulos Chilima of the United Transformation Movement claimimg 20%.

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The DPP also remained the largest party in the National Assembly, winning 62 of the 193 seats.

However, the presidential election was challenged in court by Chakwera and Chilima, and this past February the Constitutional Court annulled the presidential election results, citing evidence of irregularities, and ordered fresh elections be held within 150 days.

Parliament passed the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act Amendment Bill on February 24, setting May 19, 2020 as the date for the new presidential elections and extending the terms of MPs and local councilors by one year to allow for harmonized presidential, parliamentary and local elections in 2025.

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In March the Malawi Electoral Commission announced a new election date of July 2, a day before the 150-day limit to hold elections set by the Constitutional Court.

As a result of the Constitutional Court ruling, the President of Malawi will be elected using the two-round system, replacing the former first-past-the-post system used in the 2019 elections.

Source: Various files

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