Chilima insists two pre-marked ballots affected election

3

Former Vice President Saulos Chilima has told the Constitutional Court that two pre-marked ballots found in Mzimba affected the May 21 elections.

Frank Mbeta, lawyer for President Peter Mutharika who is first respondent in the presidential election case, on Monday continued cross-examining Chilima who is challenging the outcome of the May 21 polls.

In court, Mbeta played a recording of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chief executive officer Sammy Alfandika telling journalists that two pre-marked ballot papers were issued to voters in Mzimba but the ballots were not cast and the issuer was arrested.

Mbeta asked Chilima about the issue and the UTM leader insisted that the incident was a case of fraud which affected the elections.

Mbeta asked: If MEC took action against its fraudulent agent, would you still say that MEC committed fraud?

Chilima responded:  “I should think so.”

The lawyer then asked Chilima if he would agree that the attempted fraud was not successful since the pre-marked ballot were not cast to which Chilima said he would not agree.

“So you would want the court to nullify the presidential election because of two pre-marked ballots that never made it into the tallying?” asked Mbeta

“Yes,” Chilima responded.

Mbeta then wanted Chilima to demonstrate how the ballots affected the elections but the UTM leader’s lawyer Bright Theu objected saying the counsel and witness had different views on the issue.

At one point, Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale who is lawyer for MEC intervened saying questions that are being barred during cross-examination such as seeking explanations to materials should also not be allowed during re-examination.

In response, Chilima’s lawyer Chikosa Silungwe questioned the intervention by the Attorney General saying he is failing to act as a custodian of the constitution because he is representing MEC in the case.

Meanwhile, Judge Healy Potani – one of the five judges hearing the case – has expressed worry over the objections.

He noted that on Monday they did not cover much ground because of the interjections. Potani advised the lawyers to be innovative in order to make some good progress.

Share.

3 Comments

  1. One wonders how chilima thinks. The two pre marked ballot papers did not make it into the system – meaning they never were counted. MEC effected the arrests on these offenders. But chilima still believes that the unused premarked ballot papers influenced the results. Maybe we just had a vice president with mental challenges