Legitimacy crisis haunts Mutharika

The recently held plebiscite in Malawi is under scrutiny following irregularities, which marred the presidential election of May 21. Malawi Congress Party (MCP) challenged the presidential results raising issues of ballot stuffing among other pertinent issues and the matter has been escalated to the Constitutional Court.

Reports reaching us are that thousands of demonstrators  will on Wednesday throng the streets of Blantyre as they demonstrate against the electoral malpractices that were witnessed in the recent elections.

The court petition which  was filed by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera and United Transformation Movement Saulos Chalema will be a litmus test for Malawi’s democracy.

The two opposition leaders argue that the votes were rigged and they want the courts to nullify the results  which Mutharika won with a thin margin.

The election was marred with several irregularities that include stuffing ballot papers with pre marked ballots, tampering with election results sheets through correcrion fluid known as Tippex and officials keeping results at home.

If the ConCourt rules in their favour Malawi will go for a re-run.

Recently the courts ruled in favour of the opposition throwing away Peter Mutharika’s application to be excluded as a respondent in the petition.

MCP’s bid to bar Malawi Electoral Commision (MEC) from changing and tampering with elections results was upheld by the Courts The  petition has been reinforced by Peter Mutharika who at a rally cried foul on the election results claiming some of his votes were stolen in Malawi’s central region making him a witness.

The court is therefore  expected to nullify the presidential results as all candidates are disputing the results whilst the Malawi Electoral Commission has acknowledged electoral irregularities.

Party leaders from the opposition have been calling their supporters to protest against the election results whilst the civil organisations are calling for the resignation of MEC chairperson Jane Ansa.

Peter Mutharika narrowly won with 38.5% whilst  Chakwera, Malawi Congress Party (MCP), came close behind with about 35.4% President Mutharika’s former deputy, Saulos Chilima, finished in third place – winning just over 20% of the ballot.