Historic! Malawi court nullifies presidential elections

Chimulirenji fired, Chilima restored as vice president

… says Mutharika was not duly elected

The Constitutional Court in Lilongwe has nullified the May 21, 2019 Presidential Elections.

The five-judge panel of the court has also ordered the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to hold fresh elections within 150 days.

Judge Healey Potani read the ruling on Monday evening saying President Peter Mutharika was not duly elected as president in the 2019 elections.

Potani said the status of the presidency will revert to where it was before the elections when Mutharika was in his first term and his deputy was UTM leader Saulos Chilima.

The order means Vice President Everton Chimulirenji is no longer vice president of Malawi.

The court further said that for a person to be duly elected as president of Malawi, they have to secure more than 50+1 percent of the votes.

In its ruling, the court said the May 21 irregularities in the May 21 elections were widespread, systematic and grave such that the integrity of the outcome was seriously compromised.

The constitutional court faulted MEC for flouting electoral laws in its management of the polls and failing to ensure that the elections were free and fair.

“An election is not free and fair if the body managing the elections fails to count for missing votes; if result sheets are replete with alterations made in absence of monitors; if electoral management body fails to preserve electoral materials used in the polls which are essential for resolution of disputes; and if the process of reconciliation of ballots and votes is compromised as was case with May 21 elections,” said Potani.

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