Malawi: Law Professor Paints Grey Areas of Malawi Election Case

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(File photo).
8 December 2019

A renowned law professor has painted some grey areas of both the petitioners of the just ended presidential election case.

Professor Danwood Chirwa says both sides in the case; Dr. Saulos Chilima and Dr. Lazarus Chakwera on one hand and Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and president Peter Mutharika on another had their big moments in the case just as they had some major mistakes.

"Cases are sometimes lost long before trial. In this case, the one major mistake in the petitioners' preparatory work was neglecting to depose as any party monitors as possible," says Chirwa.

He says this in turn relates to the poor job all three big parties did in their poll monitoring and alternatively tallying exercises.

"We now know, thanks to the case, that MEC administered the elections either incompetently or with an intention to rig, or both.

"But the political parties were similarly incompetent in monitoring and ensuring that they had a full record of what happened at the streams, constituency tally centres and finally at the national tally centre," says Chirwa.

Turning to MEC and Mutharika, Chirwa says the oversight to depose the chair of the commission and other commissioners was glaring and serious.

"Of the hundreds of affidavits they collected, non can speak to the actual decision making process of the commissioners," says Chirwa.

He says there is nothing before the court that represents direct evidence of the deliberations of the commissioners, especially how they treated controversial or contested aspects of the results.

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