Malawi court nullifies May 21 Presidential election.

Seven months after the May 21 presidential election, Malawi’s constitutional court has annulled the results which saw President Peter Mutharika reelected. This makes it the first election to be legally challenged since Malawi’s independence in 1964. The judges said widespread irregularities in the collation process, such as application of correction fluids to make changes on results, use of duplicate sheets and others reveal that the results are inaccurate. The court also ruled that fresh elections be held in the next five months while Mutharika stays in power until then.

The May 2019 European Union Election Observer Mission report on Malawi elections noted that the electoral process was “well managed, inclusive, transparent and competitive”. Lazarus Chakwera and Saulos Chilima, Mutharika’s contenders however insist that the election wasn’t fair. Chakwera garnered 35.4% of the vote while Chilima, a former ally of the president, got 20.2%. The incumbent president was said to have won with 1.9 million votes representing 38.57%, narrowly ahead of Malawi Congress Party’s Chakwera who came second with 1.8 million votes.

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has demanded Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson Jane Ansah step down following the court judgement for a fresh election. The group says it is ready to hold more protests if the demands are not met.

Richard Ogundiya

Journalist & Techpreneur. Africa, communications and data.

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