Presidential poll

Malawi ruling party forms coalition ahead of May presidential poll re-run

Last updated on September 11th, 2021 at 03:02 pm

Malawian president Peter Mutharika’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Tuesday entered into an alliance with United Democratic Front (UDF).

The UDF governed Malawi between 1994 and 2004, and has 10 parliamentary seats. The DPP has 61 while the main opposition Malawi Congress Party has 55.

The UDF is led by Atupele Muluzi, who served in Mutharika’s government before last May’s presidential election.

This coalition comes a day after Malawi’s parliament set May 19 as the date for a fresh presidential election after a court overturned last year’s vote, citing widespread irregularities.

Parliament on Monday also amended the Electoral Act, another of the Constitutional Court’s orders. The amended law allows for a runoff election within 30 days if no candidate receives a majority of votes.

Mutharika and the electoral commission of the southern African nation have appealed the court ruling.

Mutharika has 21 days to decide whether to approve parliament’s decisions.

The ruling early this month was the just the second time that a court in Africa had nullified the results of a presidential election, after a Kenyan court did so in 2017.