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Malawi president says election re-run marred by 'irregularities'

Voters in the southern African country went to the polls on Tuesday after the Constitutional Court scrapped the initial May 2019 presidential poll due to mass fraud.

Malawian President Peter Mutharika. Picture: United National Photos.

BLANTYRE - Malawi's President Peter Mutharika on Saturday said this week's general election re-run was marred by "irregularities", as unofficial tallies showed him losing to the opposition leader.

Voters in the southern African country went to the polls on Tuesday after the Constitutional Court scrapped the initial May 2019 presidential poll due to mass fraud.

Mutharika's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has called on Malawi's Electoral Commission (MEC) to annul the results of the second vote and declare a third election.

"We expected an election without irregularities," Mutharika told reporters in the second city of Blantyre on Saturday.

"Sadly, as all Malawians have seen, this election is the worst in Malawi's history of our elections."

The president said DPP monitors were "hacked, abducted and intimidated" and therefore unable to verify tally sheets.

"We believe most of the results that were sent to MEC are not a true reflection of the people," Mutharika added.

However, he did not echo his party's calls for another re-run.

The MEC has until July 3 to unveil the outcome, although the announcement is thought likely to come later on Saturday.

Results from 80 percent of Malawi's 28 districts have been tallied and verified so far.

Unofficial tallies compiled by public broadcaster MBC gave opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera a dominant 60 percent lead, with the Mutharika trailing on 39 percent.

Mutharika did not mention whether he would concede defeat, although his party has threatened to reject the outcome of the vote.