Press release

Malawi: Voters Uphold Electoral Integrity and Democracy in Presidential Rerun

The administration of newly elected president Lazarus Chakwera must place human rights at the top of its agenda.

In response to the election of Malawi’s new president, Lazarus Chakwera, and his inauguration on June 28, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“Malawi’s presidential election highlights the importance of robust and independent state institutions and a vibrant civil society in upholding electoral integrity and democracy, and provides crucial lessons for the conduct of elections in the region,” said Tiseke Kasambala, chief of party for Freedom House’s Advancing Rights in Southern Africa program. “In the face of repression and concerted government attacks on civil society and the judiciary, Malawians courageously defended and exercised their democratic rights. The new administration must not let them down. President Chakwera should place the promotion and protection of human rights at the top of his agenda and strengthen the fundamental freedoms of all Malawians in line with international human rights standards.”


Malawi’s presidential election rerun was held June 23. On June 27, the Malawi Electoral Commission announced that Lazarus Chakwera, leader of the opposition Tonse Alliance, had defeated incumbent Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party with 58.57 percent of the vote.

Citing vote tampering, Malawi’s Constitutional Court in February had annulled the results of the May 2019 presidential election, which Mutharika had won, and called for a rerun. The country was rocked by months of protests in response to the results of the 2019 election, with many Malawians criticizing the poll’s administration and calling into question the independence of the then election chair, who stepped down just before the rerun.

Malawi is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2020 and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2019.