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Rev. Dr. Lazarus Chakawara was elected national president of Malawi.

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He defeated incumbent Peter Mutharika with 58.57% of votes in Tuesday’s poll.

“I do feel like Lazarus, I’ve come back from the dead,” Mr Chakwera said, referring to the biblical character of the same name.

In February, Malawi’s constitutional court annulled Mr Mutharika’s poll win in May 2019, citing vote tampering.

The country was bitterly divided in the run-up to this week’s election. But Mr Chakwera said those who did not support him had nothing to fear.

“There’s no cause for fear because I will be your president and my policy for inclusivity means we are building a new Malawi for all of us,” Mr Chakwera told.

“I’m not a president of a faction, I’m a president of everyone in the country,” he added.

Mr Chakwera dismissed allegations by Mr Mutharika that the poll was marred by violence and irregularities, saying his predecessor was “misled by rumours”.

However, he said he would not stand in the way of Mr Mutharika should he want to challenge the election.

Saulos Chilima, Mr Chakwera’s running mate, was also sworn in as vice-president at a ceremony in the capital, Lilongwe.

Mr Chakwera, a Pentecostal preacher and former theology lecturer, said his role would be to unite and serve Malawians.

“I want to provide leadership that makes everybody prosper, that deals decisively with corruption and theft of public funds and a leadership that will follow the rule of law,” he told .

“I do feel like Lazarus, I’ve come back from the dead, it’s been a long journey and we feel vindicated in a way,” he said about winning the rerun election.

Other countries in Africa have had elections annulled – it happened in Kenya in 2017 – but for the opposition candidate to then go on and win a rerun is unprecedented.

The new President of Malawi, Lazarus Chakwera, has told the BBC that his win in the rerun election was a “victory for democracy and justice”.

What did he say in his speech?
“Fellow Malawians, to stand before you as your president today is an honour,” Mr Chakwera said in a speech after being sworn in.

He vowed to unite the country and fight poverty.

“Of what use is freedom from oppression if you and I are slaves to starvation? Or freedom from colonialism if you are a slave to tribalism?,” he said.

“Time has come for us to go beyond dreaming, time has come for us to wake up, to arise from slumber, and to make our dreams come true,” Mr Chakwera said.

“With your help we will restore faith in having a government that serves; not a government that rules, a government that inspires, not a government that infuriates, a government that listens, not a government that shouts but a government that fights for you and not against you,” he added.

Mr Mutharika did not attend the ceremony because the law does not require the outgoing president to be present when a successor is taking over, the BBC’s Peter Jegwa in Lilongwe reports.

Why was there a new vote?
A rerun of the 2019 election was ordered after the Constitutional Court found the original ballot had been marred by widespread irregularities.

That election saw President Mutharika narrowly re-elected by fewer than 159,000 votes.

Mr Chakwera, who came second in that election, argued that tallying forms had been added up incorrectly and tampered with.

Uncertainty around the result sparked months of tension, which spilled over into clashes between opposition supporters and police.

February’s annulment led some to celebrate, but Mr Mutharika described it as a “serious subversion of justice” which marked the death of the country’s democracy.

There were concerns over the logistics and safety of carrying out an election in the midst of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Who is Lazarus Chakwera?
The opposition leader, a former cleric, heads up the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

Born in Lilongwe to a subsistence farmer, the philosophy and theology graduate has pledged to raise the national minimum wage, among other reforms.

Mr Chakwera leads a nine-party coalition, the Tonse Alliance, and had the backing of former President Joyce Banda as well Mr Chilima, who served as deputy to Mr Mutharika.

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France attack: Three killed in ‘Islamist terrorist’ stabbings

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Three people have died in a knife attack at a church in Nice, in what French President Emmanuel Macron said was an “Islamist terrorist attack”.

He said France would not surrender its core values after visiting the Notre-Dame basilica in the southern city. An extra 4,000 troops are being deployed to protect churches and schools.

In Nice, one elderly victim was “virtually beheaded”, officials said. Another woman and a man also died.

A male suspect was shot and detained.

Anti-terror prosecutors have opened an investigation into the attack and France has raised its national security alert to its highest level.

French anti-terrorist prosecutor Jean-François Ricard later said the attacker was seriously wounded by police.

Mr Ricard said the suspect was a 21-year-old Tunisian national who had arrived in France earlier this month. He had a document issued by the Italian Red Cross.

Police sources earlier named the attacker as Brahim Aioussaoi. They said he had travelled by boat from Tunisia to the Italian island of Lampedusa in September. He was placed in coronavirus quarantine there before being released and told to leave Italy.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi spoke of “Islamo-fascism” and said the suspect had “repeated endlessly ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is greatest)”.

Two other attacks took place on Thursday, one in France and one in Saudi Arabia.

A man was shot dead in Montfavet near the southern French city of Avignon after threatening police with a handgun.

A guard was attacked outside the French consulate in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. A suspect was arrested and the guard taken to hospital.

Speaking after visiting Nice, President Macron said: “If we are attacked once again it is for the values which are ours: freedom, for the possibility on our soil to believe freely and not to give in to any spirit of terror.

“I say it with great clarity once again today: we won’t surrender anything.”

The president said the number of soldiers being deployed to protect public places across the country would rise from 3,000 to 7,000.

Mr Estrosi compared the attack to the recent murder of teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded close to his school outside Paris earlier this month.

Police have not suggested a motive for the attack in Nice. However, it follows days of protests in some Muslim-majority countries triggered by President Macron’s defence of the publication of cartoons that depicted the Prophet Mohammed. There have been calls in some countries for a boycott of French goods.

All three were attacked inside the basilica on Thursday morning before the first Mass of the day.

Two died inside the church: a 60-year-old woman who was “virtually beheaded”, and a 55-year-old man whose throat was cut.

The male victim was a lay member of staff responsible for the upkeep of the church. He reportedly had a wife and two children.

Another woman, aged 44, managed to flee to a nearby cafe after being stabbed several times, but died later.

It later emerged that a witness had managed to raise the alarm with a special protection system set up by the city.

Chloe, a witness who lives near the church, told the BBC: “We heard many people shouting in the street. We saw from the window that there were many, many policemen coming, and gunshots, many gunshots.”

Tom Vannier, a journalism student who arrived at the scene just after the attack, told the BBC that people were crying on the street.

Four police officers arrived at the scene at 08:57 local time (07:57 GMT) and the attacker was shot and detained shortly afterwards, the French anti-terrorist prosecutor said.

Four years ago Nice was the scene of terrorist attack, when a Tunisian drove a truck into crowds celebrating Bastille Day on 14 July, killing 86 people.
Sourcves:BBC News

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തുര്‍ക്കിയില്‍ ഭൂചലനം : മരണസംഖ്യ 22 ആയി ; സുനാമി ഭീതിയില്‍ രാജ്യം

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അങ്കാറ: തുര്‍ക്കിയില്‍ ഏജിയന്‍ തീരത്ത് ഉണ്ടായ ഭൂചലനത്തില്‍ മരണസംഖ്യ 22 ആയി. മരണനിരക്ക് വര്‍ദ്ധിക്കുമെന്നാണ് റിപ്പോര്‍ട്ടുകള്‍ സൂചിപ്പിക്കുന്നത്.ശക്തമായ ഭൂചലനത്തില്‍ 200ലധികം ആളുകള്‍ക്ക് പരിക്കേറ്റിട്ടുണ്ട്. ഗ്രീക്ക് ദ്വീപായ സാമോസിന് വടക്കുഭാഗത്തായാണ് ഭൂകമ്ബമാപിനിയില്‍ തീവ്രത 7.0 രേഖപ്പെടുത്തിയ വന്‍ഭൂചലനമുണ്ടായതെന്നാണ് ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥര്‍ വ്യക്തമാക്കിയത്.

പടിഞ്ഞാറന്‍ ഇസ്മിര്‍ പ്രവിശ്യയുടെ തീരത്തു നിന്ന് 17 കിലോമീറ്റര്‍ മാറിയാണ് ഭൂകമ്ബത്തിന്‍്റെ പ്രഭവകേന്ദ്രമെന്നും ദൂരപ്രദേശങ്ങളായ ഏതന്‍സിലും ഇസ്താംബൂളിലും ഭൂചലനം അനുഭവപ്പെട്ടതായും യുഎസ് ജിയോളജിക്കല്‍ സര്‍വേ അറിയിച്ചതായി ബിബിസി ന്യൂസ് റിപ്പോര്‍ട്ട് ചെയ്തു. ഭൂകമ്ബത്തില്‍ തകര്‍ന്ന കെട്ടിടങ്ങളുടെ ചിത്രങ്ങള്‍ തുര്‍ക്കി മാധ്യമങ്ങള്‍ പുറത്തു വിട്ടിട്ടുണ്ട്.

ഭൂകമ്ബങ്ങള്‍ ഗ്രീസിലും തുര്‍ക്കിയിലും ഇടയ്ക്കിടെ റിപ്പോര്‍ട്ട് ചെയ്യാറുണ്ടെങ്കിലും ഇത്ര തീവ്രമായ ചലനം അപൂര്‍വമാണ്. കെട്ടിടാവശിഷ്ടങ്ങള്‍ക്കിടയില്‍ തെരച്ചില്‍ നടത്തുന്നവരുടെ ദൃശ്യങ്ങള്‍ സോഷ്യല്‍ മീഡിയയില്‍ പ്രചരിക്കുന്നുണ്ടെങ്കിലും വിവരങ്ങള്‍ സ്ഥിരീകരിക്കാന്‍ കഴിഞ്ഞിട്ടില്ലെന്ന് ബിബിസി വ്യക്തമാക്കി.

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