May 23, 2019 / 11:19 AM / 25 days ago

President Mutharika takes lead in Malawi election with 75% of votes counted

FILE PHOTO: Voters queue to cast their ballots in Malawi's presidential and legislative elections, in Lilongwe, Malawi, May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Eldson Chagara

BLANTYRE (Reuters) - Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika has so far taken 40.44% of votes cast in the May 21 presidential election, with 75% of the vote counted, the Electoral Commission said on Thursday.

Lazarus Chakwera, who heads the opposition Malawi Congress Party, has 35.34%, while Deputy President Saulos Chilima has secured 18.35%, the commission told a news conference.

Malawi also held parliamentary elections on Tuesday.

Reporting by Mabvuto Banda and Frank Phiri; Writing by Emma Rumney; Editing by Gareth Jones

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