Malawians return to the polls in July

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Malawians will in July this year return to the polls to cast their ballots in another round of fresh elections following the decision by the constitutional court to nullify last year’s top-level result.

The landmark verdict, delivered on Monday evening, crowned a marathon presentation of the judgment that begun around 9 o’clock in the morning.

UTM president Saulos Chilima and his Malawi Congress Party (MCP) counterpart Lazarus Chakwera had petitioned the court to annul the election that favoured the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Peter Mutharika citing massive irregularities and anomalies.

In their 10 hour ruling, five High Court judges Healey Potani, Ivy Kamanga, Dingiswayo Madise, Redson Kapindu and Mike Tembo stressed on massive irregularities and grave incompetence by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) in conducting the elections.

Apart from the use of correctional fluid popularly known as Tippex, the court chastised the MEC for announcing unverified and unaudited results, delegating the Chief Elections Officer to attend to electoral complaints.

MEC was also faulted for use of constituency tally centres, stuffing of ballot papers, as well as failure by its officers to follow laid down procedure among several irregularities.

The court has directed that the country’s leadership reverses to the 2014 status quo in which DPP’s Mutharika remains President with UTM’s Chilima as the vice.

It has also indicated that the onus to reviewing the country’s electoral body in light the forthcoming elections lies on the people with guidance from parliament.

 

 

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