7 June 2019

Malawi: Tensions Escalate As Chilima Tells Mutharika - 'Your Illegitimate Presidency Will Not Last Long'

UTM Party president Saulos Chilima has described President Peter Mutharika as an illegitimate president who was chosen by a gang of criminals through a "fraudulent" election, saying his "illegitimate government" will not last long.

Chilima: The arrogance and impunity of the tribal cabal is finally coming to an end

Addressing a news conference in Lilongwe on Friday morning, the immediate-past vice president Chilima said the elections, which he, together with Malawi Congress Party ( MCP) are challenging in courts were full of irregularities to be called credible.

"I have a message for Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika. Sir, you know very well that Malawians did not elect you as President. In occupying that position you have chosen to side with fraudsters who stole the elections. Your illegitimate presidency will not last long," said Chilima.

"We thought as a professor of law you would have chosen to be on the side of Malawians who are poor but sadly you have chosen to be on the side of thieves who installed you as an illegitimate president," added Chilima of his former boss.

"The arrogance and impunity of the tribal cabal that has for many years stagnated the development of this country is finally coming to an end.

"They shall continue to use any means, mostly criminal, to remain in power. But their days are numbered. And they know it," said Chilima.

He said UTM has gathered enough evidence of electoral malpractices and will be tendering in court as part of its evidence in the case where he is asking the court to nullify the results of the presidential elections.

Chilima also clarified that they have not hired foreign barristers for the case as widely reported on various social media platforms.

"We have trust in our local lawyers. Now that the cases (MCP and UTM) have been joined, I am sure we will have a pool of legal minds to argue our case," said a visibly composed Chilima.

Chilima also condemned the violence being perpetrated, mainly by supporters of the MCP in rejecting the results of the May 21 polls.

"My fellow Malawians, as we await the courts' intervention in this matter, I would like to urge all of you, irrespective of your political leanings, to remain peaceful and observe law and order."

"Choosing peace should not be mistaken for acceptance of a fraudulent electoral outcome or cowardice. We must do so because for all the various challenges faced by this nation, social strife has not been our portion. We must jealously guard this peace and harmony that we enjoy. We must remind ourselves that this unity and peace we enjoy cannot be taken for granted."

"No matter our political affiliation, we must firmly reject attempts by some political leaders or party supporters to consolidate their support by stocking societal tensions or tribal divisions. This is simply irresponsible and dangerous and must be condemned in the strongest terms," said Chilima.

Chilima said he believes he has a strong case against the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), saying he was optimistic a rerun would be done.

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