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Malawi held an investiture for President Lazarus Chakwera and Vice President Saulos Chilima on Sunday, hours after the elections body declared Chakwera winner of the June 23 polls.

The event was held in Lilongwe, where thousands gathered as Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda administered the oath to the new leaders.

In his inaugural speech, Chakwera struck a conciliatory tone, promising to be president for all Malawians whether they voted for him or not.

“I know there are many of you who did not vote for me and the prospect of my presidency gives you fear. I want you to know that my administration will strive to give equal opportunities for all of us together,” Chakwera said, Africanews reported.

The new president is a philosopher, theologian and clergyman by training and studied in Malawi, South Africa and the United States. Chakwera has been the face of opposition in the country’s political space since 2013.

He led the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), a former ruling party, credited with Malawi’s independence struggle from British rule in the early 1960s. He contested two elections on the MCP ticket losing twice in 2014 and 2019, the latter result was annulled and he has won the rerun.

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) late Saturday declared Chakwera as the winner of the June 23 election.

Making the declaration, commission chair Justice Chifundo Kachale announced that Chakwera, leader of the Tonse Alliance, bagged 2,604,043 votes, representing 58.5 percent of the total votes cast.

Outgoing President Peter Mutharika of the DPP/UDF alliance came second with 1,751,877 votes. The third-place candidate, Mbakuwaku Movement for Development’s Peter Kuwani, managed 33,456 votes.

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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