US urges calm after Malawi vote

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The United States on Monday called for calm in Malawi after polls to elect a new president raised the specter of a protracted political crisis.

With at least 90 percent of the votes counted over the weekend, it was unclear if election watchdogs would immediately release the results Äand if the outcome would be recognized.

“We join the African Union and the international community in calling for calm as the Malawi Election Commission works to tally the vote and to resolve any challenges or complaints,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement.

“We urge all political leaders and their supporters to refrain from violence, and to resolve any disputes in a manner that adheres to Malawi’s laws and its constitution.” Amid reports of irregularities, the electoral commission, the country’s incumbent president and opposition parties are embroiled in lawsuits and counter-suits over the count.

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