11 June 2019

Malawi Independent Presidential Contestant Says 'Concede Defeat Graciously' - Kaliya Urges Ansah to Stay Put

Malawians have made a choice of who should govern them up to 2014 and it is time to move on and accept President Peter Mutharika has the mandate to be in power, says Reverend Hardwick Kaliya who was one of the presidential contestants in May 21 Tripartite Elections.

Rev Kaliya: Independent presidential hopeful accepts defeat

Kaliya, who was the only independent presidential candidate, told a news conference in Blantyre on Tuesday that he has accepted defeat and he respects the will of Malawians.

He said in any election there should be a winner and that in the May 21 polls, President Mutharika claimed victory.

There is controversy on the presidential results, which the 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.

MCP and UTM are seeking the Constitutional Court for nullification of the results.

While the case is court, MCP supporters have been conducting streets protests, some which have turned violent.

In his address to reporters, Kaliya condemned protests and post-election violence, saying that demonstrations are "pointless as the country already has a president."

Kaliya urges MCP president Chakwera and UTM party leader Saulos Chilima to "accept the defeat graciously" as he has done.

The independent presidential contestant got 0.4% of the votes in the May 21 election.

Kaliya has also thrown his weight behind MEC chairperson Justice Jane Ansah saying that she should not resign because "she is well versed with the law to be compromised."

Civil society grouping, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) and political parties have been calling for resignation of Ansah.

"We have lost trust in her completely," HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo said.

Chilima also said UTM's position with Ansah is that, having dismally failed to lead the commission and having returned the most fraudulent elections in the history of this nation, she should just resign 'so that a capable person can lead the commission.'

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