2020 Malawian presidential election

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2020 Malawian presidential election

← 2019 23 June 2020 2025 →
  Lazarus Chakwera Profile (cropped).png Arthur Peter Mutharika 2014 (cropped).jpg
Nominee Lazarus Chakwera Peter Mutharika
Running mate Saulos Chilima Atupele Muluzi
Popular vote 2,604,043 1,751,877
Percentage 59.34% 39.92%

2020 Malawi Presidential Election Results Map.png
Presidential Election Results by District. Blue denotes districts won by Mutharika, Red denotes districts won by Chakwera.

President before election

Peter Mutharika

Elected President

Lazarus Chakwera

Presidential elections were held in Malawi on 23 June 2020, having originally been scheduled for 19 May and later 2 July.[1][2] They followed the annulment of the results of the 2019 presidential elections, in which Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party had received the most votes.

The result of the re-run elections was a victory for Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party, who defeated Mutharika by margin of 59% to 40%.

The elections were hailed by observers as being both free and fair.[3]


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 (35%) and Saulos Chilima of the United Transformation Movement (20%). 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 in February 2020 the Constitutional Court annulled the presidential election results, citing evidence of irregularities, and ordered fresh elections be held within 150 days.[4]

Parliament passed the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act (PPEA) Amendment Bill on 24 February, setting 19 May as the date for the new presidential elections and extending the terms of MPs and local councillors by one year to allow for harmonised presidential, parliamentary and local elections in 2025.[2] In March the Malawi Electoral Commission announced a new election date, 2 July, one day before the 150 day limit to hold elections set by the Constitutional Court.[5] On 21 May the Legal Affairs committee of parliament endorsed for fresh presidential elections to be held on 23 June rather than 2 July.[6]

Electoral system[edit]

As a result of the Constitutional Court ruling, the President of Malawi will be elected using the two-round system,[4] replacing the former first-past-the-post system used in 2019.[7]


Lazarus Chakwera and Peter Kuwani filed their respective nominations on 6 May 2020. Peter Mutharika filed his nomination the following day, with Atupele Muluzi as his running mate.[8]

Opinion polls[edit]

A poll conducted by IPOR Malawi showed that 53% of respondents expected Lazarus Chakwera to win the election, while 31% expected Mutharika to win.[9]

On a national level, according to the polls, 51% would vote for Chakwera, while 33% for Mutharika and 0.2% for Peter Kuwani.[10]

Another poll by Afrobarometer suggested that Chakwera was most likely to win the election.[11]


CandidateRunning matePartyVotes%
Lazarus ChakweraSaulos ChilimaMalawi Congress Party2,604,04359.34
Peter MutharikaAtupele MuluziDemocratic Progressive Party1,751,87739.92
Peter KuwaniArchibald Kalawang'omaMbakuwaku Movement for Development32,4560.74
Valid votes4,388,37698.71
Invalid/blank votes57,3231.29
Total votes4,445,699100.00
Registered voters/turnout6,859,57064.81
Source: Malawi Electoral Commission


Opposition figures in other African countries have been reportedly congratulating Chakwera's victory, including the leader of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change, Nelson Chamisa, leader of Tanzania's Alliance for Change and Transparency, Zitto Kabwe, former leader of South Africa's Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane, leader of Zambia's National Democratic Congress Chishimba Kambwili, and aspiring presidential candidate for the 2021 Ugandan general election Henry Tumukunde.[12][13][14][15]


In August 2021 the DPP appealed to the Supreme Court to annul the election results on the basis that in June 2020 the High Court had cancelled the appointments of four DPP members who had been appointed to the Malawi Electoral Commission prior to the elections. The DPP claimed that this meant the 2020 elections had been managed by incorrectly appointed members, and was therefore null and void.[16][17]


  1. ^ "Not May 19, Malawi fresh elections slated for July 2-MEC". Nyasa Times. 2010-03-24. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b Nyale, Enelless (25 February 2020). "Elections May 19". The Nation Malawi.
  3. ^ "Malawi presidential election: Lazarus Chakwera declared winner". Al Jazeera. 27 June 2020.
  4. ^ a b Chitete, Suzgo (4 February 2020). "Malawi top court annuls presidential election results". Al Jazeera.
  5. ^ "2020 presidential elections to be held on July 2". Malawi24. 2010-03-23. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  6. ^ "June 23 for Malawi fresh presidential election endorsed by Parliamentary Committee". Nyasa Times. 21 May 2020. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  7. ^ Republic of Malawi: Election for President IFES
  8. ^ "Malawi president files for election rerun with ex-leader's son". Al Jazeera English. 7 May 2020.
  9. ^ Matonga, Golden (22 June 2020). "Opposition are favourites on eve of Malawi's presidential election". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  10. ^ "IPOR Malawi (@IPORMalawi) on Twitter". mobile.twitter.com.
  11. ^ Gwede, Wanga (May 18, 2020). "Malawi: Chakwera Leads in Malawi Opinion Polls - MCP Says Not Taking Anything for Granted". allAfrica.com.
  12. ^ "Opposition leads Malawi vote - state broadcaster". BBC News. June 25, 2020.
  13. ^ @BonfasiaMapunda (26 June 2020). "We congratulate @LAZARUSCHAKWERA" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  14. ^ "Zambia : Kambwili calls on All Opposition Parties to Unite to Eject President Lungu and PF".
  15. ^ "Uganda presidential aspirants: Dr Kiyingi, Lt Gen Tumukunde, Mr Mugerwa Timothy congratulate Malawi president elect Dr Lazarus Chakwera". Whisper Eye. June 25, 2020.
  16. ^ Malawi Braces for Another Election Challenge VOA News, 25 August 2021
  17. ^ DPP Fresh Election Challenge Not Certified, Chief Justice Says Wait for 7 Days Nyasa Times, 17 August 2021