Malawi: Part of Chakwera's Evidence Cannot Be Removed, Concourt Reject MEC, Mutharika Application

17 September 2019

The Constitutional Court has ruled against applications by lawyers for Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and President Peter Mutharika, requesting the court to remove some parts of the evidence submitted by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential hopeful Lazarus Chakwera, the second petitioner, in the presidential elections petition case.

MCP presidential hopeful Lazarus Chakwera (R), the second petitioner

The determination about the application was made by the five-panel judges on Tuesday before the court was ready to start hearing Chakwera.

Chakwera, in his 13-paged election petition on court record, is also asking the court to nullify the results of the May 21 Presidential Election as he claims it was not conducted in accordance with the Constitution.

The MCP presidential hopeful is also asking the Constitutional Court to direct MEC to organise and conduct a fresh Presidential Election in strict conformity with the Constitution and Presidential and Parliamentray Elections Act (PPEA).

Chakwera claims, in his sworn statement, that MEC accepted the use of results tally sheets defaced with Tippex as a record for the polled votes, in place of original results tally sheets with no Tippex on them, without any plausible justification.

"[And] further to the above enumerated irregularities; the conduct of MEC in managing the elections was utterly unjust and unconscionable.

"MEC proceeded to announce the results without conducting a thorough audit and verification of the results and in disregard of the several complaints lodged by the petitioner through MCP," Chakwera complains.

He further claims that the electoral body had been negligent in its control and administration of the elections by failing to ensure that the relay of results from the polling stations was secure, accountable, accurate and verifiable.

The petitioners contend that Mutharika "won a fraudulent May 21 2019 Presidential Election" fraught with irregularities, including alleged tampering with election results sheets with Tippex and want the court to nullify the results and order a re-run.

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