Malawi: Concourt Rebuffs MEC Over Use of Original Tally Sheets in Malawi Elections Case

2 December 2019

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has suffered yet another blow in the Constitutional Court when a five-member judge panel refused to allow the pollster lawyers use original tally sheets during the cross re-examination of MEC chief executive officer Sam Alufandika.

Chokhotho: Court said no to 'trial ambush'

Justice Dingiswayo Madise said allowing lawyer Tamando Chokotho use the original electoral documents would be unfair and tantamount to what he said trial ambush.

MEC was expected to file in the court the documents before hearing on the case began and refused to hand over the documents after Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM lawyers demanded them.

Earlier, Alufandika told the court that despite complaints which were raised prior to the announcement of the results, the commission went ahead to announce President Peter Mutharika as winner because the opposition did not provide any contrary results.

In the Constitutional Court case, presidential candidates in the May 21 Tripartite Elections Saulos Chilima of UTM Party and Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) are jointly asking the court to nullify the presidential poll results. They are the first and second petitioners, respectively.

The two dragged MEC to court after the electoral body declared President Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)the winner in the elections. They allege that the poll results were fraught with irregularities and that the electoral process was mismanaged by MEC. By virtue of the law. Mutharika was added to the case as the first respondent, while MEC is the second respondent.

The Judiciary says the Constitutional Court may deliver the much-awaited judgement on the disputed May 21 presidential election results within 45 days after completion of trial by 6 December 2019.

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