Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has cited “several rigging acts” by suspected agents of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the results management of the May 21 Tripartite Elections as having distorted results in DPP’s favour.
In a case filed at the Lilongwe Registry of the High Court of Malawi by lawyer representing MCP, Titus Mvalo, MCP is the first claimant with its president and presidential candidate in the elections, Lazarus Chakwera, as second claimant while Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is the defendant.
The case, filed by MCP’s lawyer Senior Counsel Titus Mvalo, identifies the country’s oldest political establishment as the 1st claimant in the case, party president and Chakwera as 2nd Claimant with Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) as the defendant.
MCP, which alongside UTM Party led by the country’s immediate past vice-president Saulos Chilima, is challenging results of the presidential election in which President Peter Mutharika of DPP was declared the winner followed by Chakwera and Chilima in second and third place, respectively.
In the affidavit, Mvalo explicitly accuses DPP members, supporters, sympathisers, officials and agents of engaging in “several rigging acts” that allegedly distorted the results in favour of DPP “against the votes and will of the people of Malawi”.
On claims of officials allegedly caught tampering with results, the lawyer mentions a returning officer in Nsanje, Fred Thomas, as having “actually [been] found tampering with result sheets”.
Mvalo also cites cases of pre-marked ballot papers allegedly stuffed in ballot boxes in Zomba, Machinga and Mangochi districts.
On incidents of tampering that saw erasing fluid being used to change figures, MCP has attached to its application copies of the results sheets that were purportedly tampered with.
The affidavit also mentions an incident in Neno District where there was “an anomaly of presidential votes being 18 000 more than the parliamentary votes cast which raises the question of how that was possible”.
The party has also cited cases of presiding officers at some polling stations in Dedza and Lilongwe districts, who allegedly denied MCP election monitors access to copies of results sheets despite the fact that the voting procedure designed by MEC required each monitor to keep a signed copy of the results.
MCP contends that Mutharika “won a fraudulent election” fraught with irregularities, including alleged stuffing of ballot papers with pre-marked ballots, tampering with election results sheets through correction fluid and being found in possession of result sheets at home.
MEC declared Mutharika winner of the presidential race with 1 940 709 votes or 38.57 percent. The electoral body said Chakwera was on second position with 1 781 740 votes, representing 35.41 percent of the vote and Chilima, who debuted on the presidential ballot on UTM Party ticket after falling out with Mutharika last June, finished third with 1 018 369 votes or 20.24 percent.
Yesterday, Mvalo refused to comment on the affidavit, stating that the case was in court.
UTM on Friday also filed with the courts its challenge of the presidential election results. Like MCP, UTM is seeking nullification of the election results.