Malawi warms up to a presidential election re-run

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  • MPs to decide on presidential election re-run mechanisms
  • Joyful Malawians occupy main cities in celebration
  • Muluzi gives thumbs up to ConCourt ruling
  • MEC chair asked to resign

LEGISLATORS in Malawi on Tuesday said deliberations on logistics for fresh elections will start next week after that country’s Constitutional Court (ConCourt) nullified last year’s presidential election.

The presidential election results were nullified after two main opposition party leaders, Lazarous Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party and former Vice President Saulos Chilima, petitioned the ConCourt to set them aside.

Monday’s ConCourt ruling, therefore, means Malawi is now expected to hold new elections by July this year.

Following the ruling, there was jubilation as citizens celebrated the occasion in Blantyre and Lilongwe, including at opposition MCP headquarters.

Meanwhile, Malawi’s former President Bakili Muluzi praised the ConCourt judges on their ruling, saying there was need for fresh elections in that country.

The former President of this impoverished country said the unanimous decision by the judges was indicative of the vibrant democracy inherent in Malawi’s politics.

“The example we have set is now under scrutiny and as such, I would like to appeal to all the leaders, political parties and their supporters to understand the judgment.

“We can only move forward as a nation with a continued spirit of a free and fair democracy and commitment to development,” Muluzi said.

He described the decision to nullify the presidential election results as a significant moment in Malawi’s history.

Meanwhile, Malawi’s Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) chairperson, Timothy Mtambo, has demanded that Malawi Election Commission (MEC) chair, Jane Ansah, voluntarily step down following the ConCourt judgment.

He added that his organisation was ready to hold more protests if their demands were not met.

HRDC has been protesting against MEC over its failure to run elections professionally.

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