Peter Mutharika, the leader of the Democratic Progressive Party and  brother of Malawi’s former leader, has been declared the winner of the country’s disputed presidential election after garnering 36.4 percent of the votes cast.

The electoral commission said Mutharika came ahead of Lazarus Chakwera who obtained 27.8 percent of the vote and outgoing president Joyce Banda who garnered 20.2 percent.

Banda has reportedly accepted the election results despite earlier this week claiming the vote was null and void amid allegations of polling irregularities and fraud.

On Thursday, Maxon Mbendera, the head of the country’s electoral commission, said that the presidential elections were held in a free, fair, and credible manner although anomalities were discovered at over 4,000 polling stations.

Malawi was forced to deploy the army on the first day of voting last week after delays in opening the polls led voters to riot and burn down at least two stations.

Supporters of Banda have held a series of protests alleging that the vote was rigged in favour of Mutharika.

The violence marred an election that was seen as the first true test of Banada’s scandal-tainted rule.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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