Malawi 2014 election was not credible:MHRC queries Mutharika’s victory

The state-funded Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has released a detailed report on the May 20 elections which ushered President Peter Mutharika to power controversially, saying the polls were not “credible”.

Presenting the report: Kalinde (C) with Rev Zac Kawalala (L) and Voice Mhone during the news conference

Presenting the report: Kalinde (C) with Rev Zac Kawalala (L) and Voice Mhone during the news conference

Mutharika, 75, the younger brother of president Bingu wa Mutharika who died in office in 2012, was declared winner of the disputed polls.

The commission’s chairperson Sophie Kalinde launched the results of the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections Monitoring Report in Lilongwe on Thursday.

In the report, MHRC observes that the elections were not fair, not transparent and therefore not credible

“In particular, it is noteworthy that electoral stakeholders especially political parties, and the people of Malawi themselves ensured that the volatile situation which may easily have erupted protracted and widespread violence was contained. It is also commendable that MEC (Malawi Electoral Commission) worked hard to ensure that the elections were managed and administered effectively. Thus, on the whole, the elections were conducted in a generally a peaceful and calm environment, save for isolated pockets of violence in some areas,” reads the report in part.

The report punched holes on the credibility of the elections that ushered Mutharika to power, saying “the numerous discrepancies and irregularities, limitations with respect to preparedness on the part of MEC, limited resources, and incidences of violence albeit isolated, that marred the elections period leave a significant dent on the credibility of the elections.”

The commission report states that while not all of these events occurred at all polling sites,  “they were not isolated incidents, either, but rather came up repeatedly in different polling centres, indicating a widespread and systematic assault on the right to vote.”

MHRC report said its findings “demonstrate a clear pattern of systematic undermining of the people’s right to a free and fair election.”

Reads the report: “Elections cannot be free and fair in the face of several glaring irregularities, some of them seemingly minor, which nonetheless, cumulatively substantially affect the extent to which the elections can be said to have been free and fair.

“Therefore, whereas, the elections may generally have been free, these developments seriously negate the aspect of fairness in the electoral process. “

Further, MHRC reports states that the credibility of the elections, in terms of both the process and the outcome is “therefore cast in very serious doubts.”

The Commission said it finds the “wholesome pronouncements” by some commentators and observers of the freeness, fairness and credibility of May 2014 Tripartite elections “particularly disconcerting” considering the many irregularities that were observed.

MHRC said the information contained in its report raises “serious questions on the rhetoric that has applauded the May 2014 Tripartite elections as free, fair, transparent and credible in most absolute terms.”

The commission recommended that the elections management capacity of MEC needs to be strengthened, including among other things by ensuring that Malawi graduates from dependence on donors to fund its elections.

“Government should be committed to fully and timely fund Malawi’s elections,” recommends MHRC.

The rights commission also recommends that detailed in-depth investigations into the shortcomings and irregularities of the elections should be carried out “in order to identify the root causes and put the issue of whether or not these developments were a result of deliberate manipulation to rest.”

The MHRC report comes after a renowned governance body Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) criticised the “flawed” election of Mutharika, saying the result was tainted by “substantial electoral irregularities”.

Mtambo said following the public outcry on the anomalies, the court could have ruled for voter audit and allow time to carry the exercise.

In the disapproval of the outcome, Mtambo recommended that Malawi Law Commission should look at the 8 day period if the time was enough to address the electoral mess.

The commission hasalso  called for several electoral reforms, including overhauling the first-past-the-post system to a system where the winner is voted for by a majority—and further discusses flaws during the pre-election period, during the eventual period and a five-month post-election period.

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gregory gondwa
Guest

APA tipaone bwino apa. Chisankho aMbendera adaononga akudziwa chomwe amachita lero Malawi Ali pamoto. Shame on Mbendera, Steve Duwa and the courts.

Great Caesars Ghost
Guest
At what point are these irregularities going to be discussed with figures and in relation to the electoral laws? You have had seven months to do these investigations you are talking about, seven months to find figures and seven months to make a decision based on actual numbers! These are platitudes at best, based on a popular held view started by an incumbent president and an idiot cleric with out facts and figures to back a claim. I give you their reluctance to go to court despite all the screams of having evidence! As far as I know this massive… Read more »
tuvitwana
Guest

That’s why I now don’t sympathise wth aku court. Zitsiru za wanthu, Pete akufuna more pay, katengeni kwa APM. Ma judge muziganiza bwino JB akanakupatsani kale ndalama zanu. Useless judges lero mukuliranso?

Mkanaumphawi
Guest

if only our (malawi) constitution had an act (a provision) on VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE, dziko lathuli lidakakonzeka. Sindidzayiwala zodzikwezera malipiro mwanseri. Mulungu ndiye mwini zonse. Sadzatisiya tikungolirabe

BigMan
Guest

Just another case of a bunch of overfed half cooked Malawian men and women barking, barking, barking and barking some more….for absolutely nothing! Where are the specifics? Who rigged? how did they rig? where did they rig? where is the evidence? what difference does it make. Why are you barking now? Shut up!!!

Rift Valley
Guest

Fver wondered why DPP vigorously opposed vote recount? They had alot to lose if the election went the other way. What with the K92billion, the treason case, Chasowa murder etc, etc. We know who the new DIG of Police is and his link to Chasowa. I tell you APM is not in control. DPP henchmen are. I doubt whether this government will go the full 5 years. It could, because tanyanya tulo a Malawi.

PSALM 51
Guest

Takhala athufe tikunena kuti zisankho sizinayende bwino ndichifukwa chake palibe chikuyenda mdziko muno ngakhale mbali ya boma akuwona ngati zikuyenda,chifukwa cha ichinso muwona kuti ngati pali president wanyozedwa kwambiri ndipo wapatsidwa maina ambiri mukanthawi kochepa ndiye ndi ameneyu zonsezi zikuwonetsa kusakondwa kwa a Malawi pamomwe zisankho zinayendera, kusonyeza kuti Pitala akutsogolera amthu omwe samamufuna ndipo anyozedwabe mmene zikuwonekera

Pwazama
Guest

Inu mwaziwa liti and nthawi yoseyi munali kuti?

Mendulo
Guest

They are just towing what they believe is the pupular line of thought in the aftermath of the elections, a view which was started by JB (when she found out that she was losing) and grasped with both hands by MCP and her PP

golo
Guest

All along it was obvious that the elections were not in the best interest of all Malawians. what was needed then was to stop the election as jb had wanted then call for fresh elections within 90 days but MEC and the courts thought it otherwise. This country is messed up by our learned lawyers and the courts.

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