Court ties MEC’s hands

  • MCP gets injunction
  • Presidential results on hold
  • MEC releases MPs’ results only

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) on Saturday withheld the outcome of the May 21 presidential election following an injunction Malawi Congress Party (MCP) obtained at the Lilongwe Registry of the High Court. The injunction cited irregularities noticed in about 10 districts that should necessitate a recount in those areas.

Ansah quenches her thirst as she gives an update on the elections on Saturday

MEC chairperson Jane Ansah said during the 11th press briefing at the Comesa Tally Centre in Blantyre that the commission was served with the injunction, restraining it from announcing the outcome of the presidential vote.

Ansah, however, proceeded to announce the parliamentary results from 192 constituencies, saying parliamentary elections in one constituency, Lilongwe South, never took place following the of death of one of the candidates, Agnes Penemulungu.

Said Ansah: “I wish to inform you that the commission has been served with an injunction restraining us from proceeding with announcement of presidential results. The commission will wait for this process to be concluded before announcing the results. To that effect, today we are announcing the parliamentary elections results.”

Mkaka: We are happy

In the parliamentary elections, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) got 62 members of Parliament (controlling 32 percent of the House), MCP got 55 members of Parliament (29 percent), United Democratic Front (UDF) got 10 members of Parliament (5 percent), UTM got four members of Parliament (2 percent), People’s Party (PP) got 5 seats (3 percent), Aford got one, with the remaining 55 seats taken by independents.

Ansah announced that out of a total of 6 827 383 registered voters in the 192 constituencies that were contested for, a total of representing 74.27 percent turnout and that a total of 4 967 774 were valid votes and 103 174 were null and void, which represents 1.51 percent.5 070 948 voters cast their votes,

Ansah said the journey was relatively remarkable.

“The commission has all along amicably and promptly responded to challenges to the satisfaction of stakeholders and sometimes in collaboration with other electoral stakeholders, most of who are present here. We are grateful for your untiring support,” she said.

MCP secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka said the party was satisfied with MEC’s decision to withhold the results following the court decision.

“We are happy. It was the court decision,” he said.

In an earlier interview, Mkaka cited a number of ‘anomalies’ that he said compelled the party to seek court intervention.

He also claimed that MCP observed that the serial numbers and the barcodes were different, citing examples of the presidential tally sheets with totally different barcodes starting with stars.

“Yet we know MEC result sheets on presidential elections do not start with a star. So, all these things are raising questions on the authenticity of the results.

“Therefore, we cannot go ahead to announce the results because this is a fraudulent election; the results have been tampered with and MEC shouldn’t go ahead to announce them,” he said.

DPP spokesperson Nicholas Dausi refused to comment on the matter in court, cautioning that any statement made would be prejudicing court process.

Commenting on MEC’s decision of releasing the final official parliamentary results, UTM director of publicity Joseph Chidanti-Malunga maintained his party’s stand that the electoral body should nullify the aggregated votes.

He said the party has consulted its legal team on how to handle the matter, saying the party has a lot of evidence that the elections were marred by irregularities.

“Our stand remains that MEC should nullify the votes. We have consulted our legal team who are working seriously on the matter to find the way forward,” he said.

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