Malawi. According to Countryaah.com, Malawi population in 2020 is estimated at 19,129,963. Internationally acclaimed President Joyce Banda lost power during the year in a presidential election whose results were disputed. In addition to Banda, eleven candidates stood in the election and the main challenger to the presidential post was Peter Mutharika, brother of Bingu wa Mutharika, whom Banda replaced two years earlier when he quickly died in a heart attack.
On Election Day, May 20, many polling stations were declared missing ballot papers and in several places the polling stations were not opened in time. In addition, during the counting, the computerized voting system that would have been used collapsed and the voters were forced to count all votes manually. Banda demanded that the election be annulled and said that she, as president, had the constitutional right to decide on a new election, which was however rejected by the Supreme Court.
As the number of votes exceeded the number of eligible voters, the country’s electoral commission decided that some of the districts should be recalculated. After the vote, the election results were presented which gave Mutharika 36% of the votes followed by former pastor Lazarus Chakwera who received 28%. Only then did Banda end up having to settle for 20% of the vote. In the parliamentary elections, neither party gained a majority, but Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) got the most seats in parliament, closely followed by Chakwera’s party Malawi’s Congress Party (MCP), which got 48 seats. Banda’s party The People’s Party (PP) received only 26 seats, while a full 52 seats went to independent parties.
During the fall, further details were revealed in the corruption scandal called “Cashgate” discovered the year before. In August, the country’s former tourism minister, Tressa Namathanga Senzani, was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison for involvement in the corruption legacy, which included large sums of money lost from the administration. Former Budget Manager Paul Mphwiyo and his wife were also arrested during the year on suspicion of theft and money laundering, and in November an official was sentenced to nine years in prison for corruption.