DPP set up presidential inauguration committee

As results of Malawi’s controversial presidential elections could be announced on Friday if the courts rule out a recount, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is said to have set up a committee to start preparations of the inaugural ceremony of its leader Peter Mutharika likely to be declared president-elect.

Oath of president-elect is conducted by Chief Justice and government is responsible in inviting foreign dignitaries.

However, the DPP are said to be preparing the inauguration as “government in waiting” as the unaudited count showed that Mutharika was in the lead with 36 percent of the vote.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) President Peter Mutharika speaks during a press conference -Photo by Amos Gumulira

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) President Peter Mutharika speaks during a press conference -Photo by Amos Gumulira

The committee which includes party members from all four DPP political regions of the country is expected to swear in Mutharika in the next few days, according to Henry Mussa, the party’s regional coordinator for
the south for 2014 tripartite elections.

“The party is anxious for the official results to facilitate preparations for the ceremony,” said Mussa.

The results of the controversial elections will not be out until a high court rules on whether the Malawi Electoral Commission should be allowed to conduct a recount of the ballots.

“The commission is preparing to announce its determination of the results of these elections on Friday 30 May, or as the court may direct,” said Maxon Mbendera, the chairman of the commission.

He told a news conference that an initial count of all the ballots had been completed.
The commission had asked for a 30-day delay in releasing the results to enable it to carry out a recount after allegations of rigging, but Mbendera said the electoral body would take its cue from the court’s decision.
But President Banda’s supporters fear that Mutharika, the 74-year-old brother of late former president Bingu WA Mutharika, may be attempting to steal power

Meanwhile, lawyer representing DPP president Peter Mutharika, Kalekeni Kaphale claims that the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) flouted the legal ethics when it challenged and obtained a stay order nullifying DPP injunction that restrained the Electoral Commission from proceeding with its decision regarding recount of votes.

Kaphale alleges that MCP used unlawful means as used a High Court Judge from the Commercial Division “which is quiet strange to us because under normal circumstances it is supposed to be the judge that issued the order vacating it”.

Kaphale also faults the judge for vacating their order without hearing DPP’s side of the story, describing its actions as “very unusual”.

“We were supposed to face the judge together but in the current scenario the court allowed one party (MCP) only to vacate the injunction without hearing from us,” Kaphale told a news conference in Blantyre.

But other political parties, mainly MCP, United Democratic Front and People’s Party (PP) are accusing DPP and Friday Jumbe of New Labour Party (NLP) of blocking the Commission from conducting vote recount.

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