2 June 2019

Malawi: Law Expert Says Malawi Poll Rerun Possible

A law expert at Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi says an election rerun is possible in the country if there overwhelming objective material evidence of vote manipulation.

Prof Garton Kamchedzera: Rerun

Garton Kamchezera, a law professor at Chancellor College said if the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM can move the court with overwhelming evidence of vote rigging and poll result manipulation in favour of President Peter Mutharika, the court can order a poll rerun.

"This is feasible. It is possible to have a rerun. The two parties are probably compelled to challenge the election result because of the result manipulation," said Kamchezera.

Malawi Law Society (MLS) has also backed the MCP and UTM decision to challenge the poll result in court and ask for the rerun of the election following reports that some results were deleted with correction fluid - Tippex.

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) declared Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) winner with 1 940 709 votes or 38.57 percent of the votes cast.

He was trailed by Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) with 1 781 740 votes (35.41 percent) while immediate-past vice-president Saulos Chilima of UTM came third with 1 018 369 votes or 20.24 percent.

Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM) to Malawi has said vote counting in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections was challenged by poor conditions and poor adherence to procedures.

In a 12-page preliminary statement, dated May 23 2019, the mission has also punched holes in the electoral legal framework, especially on the absence of deadlines for filing and adjudicating election disputes.

MEC chairperson Justice Jane Ansah said during declaration of results last Monday, that the commission had thoroughly reviewed all the complaints that were lodged for the presidential election.

She declared the presidential elections to be free and fair and that the results were the true reflection of the will of the people of Malawi.

Voting in the tripartite elections took place on May 21 2019 in all the 5002 polling stations.

According to Ansah, out of 6 859 570 registered voters, 5 105 983 turned up for polling representing 74.44 percent. A total of 74 719 votes were declared null and void representing 1.09 percent.

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