AG questions Chilima on claims polls were marred by numerous irregularities

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Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale on Monday questioned UTM leader Saulos Chilima on claims that the May 21 presidential elections were marred by a massive number of irregularities.

In cross-examining Chilima, the AG who is representing Malawi Electoral Commission in the presidential, said it had been found that six of the seven grounds of Chilima’s petition only covered 0.5 percent of polling stations

Chilima is challenging the outcome of the May 21 presidential elections in which President Peter Mutharika was declared winner.

On Monday, the UTM leader brought several sworn statements supporting his petition with the Attorney General focusing on percentage of polling stations where irregularities were recorded.

One sworn statement claimed that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member Brown Mpinganjira bribed monitors at one centre in Mulanje on polling day with UTM monitors being told that the money was for airtime.

Kaphale asked Chilima if the money was given to other monitors but Chilima said he wouldn’t know because it was not written in the statement.

Kaphale then questioned if Chilima thought the evidence was not clear but the UTM leader’s lawyer objected saying Chilima was not in a position to provide an opinion.

The summary of the affidavits and evidence from Chilima  on irregularities such as  intimidation of  monitors, bribing of officers, presiding officers influencing  voters,  unauthorized and persons found with ballot boxes was found by Kaphale to have affected 0.5 percent of 5002 polling stations.

Kaphale then noted that Chilima in his petition claimed that the elections were affected by a plethora of irregularities.

He asked Chilima to confirm that for six of the seven grounds of his petition, none of the cited irregularities had gone to even half of one percent of the polling stations, to which Chilima confirmed.

“So the use of the word plethora does not apply to six of the seven grounds, can you agree,” Kaphale asked.

“I don’t agree,” responded Chilima.

Kaphale will continue cross-examining Chilima tomorrow when he will focus on exhibits accompanying other sworn statements presented by Chilima’s legal team.

 

 

 

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