The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has dismissed the report by the taxpayer-funded Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) on controversial May 20 Tripartite Elections which has questioned the legitimacy of President Peter Mutharika.
The report launched on Thursday in Lilongwe said the elections that ushered Mutharika to power was lacking fairness, transparency and credibility.
Commissioner Reverend Zac Kawalala told a news conference that the eventual outcome was in dispute and aspects of the report point to questions over Mutharika’s legitimacy “which the public must take note.”
But DPP has said the elections were “a closed chapter”, saying questioning Mutharika’s legitimacy may be tantamount to treason as his victory was certified by several foreign and local election observer groups and was dully sworn-in as Head of State.
DPP spokesperson and the party’s leader in Parliament Francis Kasaila claimed MHRC’s report lacks credibility.
“The European Union [EU] and Mesn [Malawi Electoral Support Network], for example, declared the elections free and fair, is the MHRC an expert in elections or human rights? They were not the only observer in that election and more credible institutions declared the results credible, free and fair,” said Kasaila.
However, the commission’s chairperson Sophie Kalinde justified the release of the report as evidence-based through its extensive elections monitoring.
The 2014 tripartite elections were marred by chaos and several irregularities and court actions, including injunctions aimed at stopping its release and at one point former head of State Joyce Banda attempted in vain to nullify the vote.