Mutharika leads pack in Malawi

IN LEAD: Malawi president Bingu wa Mutharika. 21/05/09. © Unknown.
IN LEAD: Malawi president Bingu wa Mutharika. 21/05/09. © Unknown.

BLANTYRE - Malawi president Bingu wa Mutharika cemented his lead in partial returns from this week's elections, with nearly three times as many votes as his nearest rival, officials said yesterday.

BLANTYRE - Malawi president Bingu wa Mutharika cemented his lead in partial returns from this week's elections, with nearly three times as many votes as his nearest rival, officials said yesterday.

With about 25percent of the ballots counted, Mutharika had more than 913000 votes, against 325000 for opposition leader John Tembo, said Anastasia Msosa, chairperson of the electoral commission.

The commission hopes to announce the result in the presidential race today.

Mutharika is seeking to win a new five-year term and the first parliamentary majority for his Democratic Progressive Party, but the two main opposition parties have united behind Tembo in their bid to unseat him. - Sapa-AFP

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