Few mistakes should not lead to nullification of election results – Kaphale

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Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale says Malawi Electoral Commission’s (MEC) defence in the election case is that the irregularities that happened during the May 21 elections are not enough to lead to nullification of the poll results.

Kaphale made the remarks following today’s proceedings in the presidential election case in which UTM leader Saulos Chilima and Malawi Congress Party’s Lazarus Chakwera want the court to nullify results of the May 21 elections.

Kaphale (L)

Kaphale is representing MEC in the case and he continued to interrogate second witness Miriam Gwalidi who was a roving monitor for UTM during the elections. Kaphale questioned Gwalidi regarding result sheets presented to the court as exhibits.

“Our defence is that few mistakes that happened of which are acknowledged are not enough to lead to nullification of the votes. They did not materially affect the electoral process.

“That’s why I am cross examining on each and every exhibited document because the nation needs to know the truth and I will not let a document go unexamined,” he said.

During proceedings today, lawyers for Chilima today questioned Kaphale’s line questioning saying the documents Kaphale was examining were presented to the court because they have some data missing and not because of differences in valid votes on primary documents (log books) and the forms the data was recorded on.

In his defence, Kaphale said the litigation hinges on whether any candidate had valid votes taken from them or added to them which affected results of the polls.

He added that he has to interrogate the witness regarding the exhibits in order to pursue his line of defence during final submission.

Kaphale also expressed worry that the petitioner was trying to tell him how to conduct cross-examination.

The court in its ruling allowed Kaphale to continue questioning Gwalidi in the same fashion.

“It would appear that the information that we have in the exhibit is trying to show the court that there is missing information and at the end of the day the court will look at whether the missing information affected the outcome of the elections.

“The line of questioning the AG is taking is trying to show that it did not affect the results, so it is in order. I think the Attorney General can proceed,” said Judge Ivy Kamanga, one of the five judges hearing the case.

The court will reconvene on Friday when Kaphale will continue to cross-examine Gwalidi.

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2 Comments

  1. It should if those mistakes were done deliberately by MEC to try to influence the outcome of the results. How can we trust the results from an organisation which lacks credibility? The onus of demonstrating to the courts that the errors were not deliberate or a result of carelessness lies with MEC.