Presidential elections in Malawi nullified
The Constitutional Court in the southern African nation of Malawi on Monday nullified the results of last year’s presidential election, citing “widespread, systematic and grave” irregularities including significant use of correction fluid,Tipp-Ex and also lack of signatures on some results forms to alter the outcome.” The two leading opposition candidates had challenged the narrow election win of President Peter Mutharika,alleging that the irregularities affected over 1.4 million of the total 5.1 million votes cast. A new vote is to held in 150 days.
The five-judge panel also challenged the electoral system as the results presented suggested that no one was elected by a majority in accord with the Constitution, and suggested that that Malawi’s Elections Act be amended.
Mutharika had been declared the narrow winner of Malawi’s May election with 38% of votes, followed by Lazarus Chakwera with 35% and former vice president Saulos Chilima third with 20%. The four other candidates collectively got nearly 6%. However after the panel reviewed the evidence presented to prove that Mutharika and the electoral commission had rigged the elections,both parties acknowledged some irregularities, but argued they were not sufficient to affect the elections outcome.