Lawyer Modecai Msisha, leading the legal team of second petitioner and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera in the presidential elections nullification petition case, on Friday in his final oral submissions asked the Constitutional Court to dissolve the current Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) if it upholds the nullification bid.
Msisha suggests to the court that it must dissolve current MEC, the second respondent in the matter, because it failed to adhere to constitutional provisions governing management of elections in the country.
MEC is led by its chairperson Jane Ansah—a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal— and has seven commissioners.
According to Msisha, it appears MEC commissioners left the elections in the hands of MEC employees who “played games” with the management of the results.
Msisha says over 1 million votes were affected in various ways of tampering and that is enough to cast doubt on the results.
He further says MEC could have reached the same conclusion had it scrutinised the results or heeded to the alarm raised by the auditors.
MEC has also been faulted in its dealings with audit firm BDO as the audit firm’s report made several adverse findings about electoral body.
In his submission, lawyers Msisha also said one point the court may consider as part of the remedy is disqualification of a candidate who was associated with the fraudulent election activity – as it happened in most foreign jurisdictions.
In this particular case, Msisha prayed that the court should bar President Peter Mutharika from contesting if the court orders a fresh election as results of the irregularities.
He also said the same MEC that mishandled the May election cannot be trusted to handle the next elections, saying there are no minutes or documents suggesting that MEC commissioners were in charge of various processes or decision making during the election
Msisha arrived at this point after judge Mike Tembo sought for suggestions from him to explain what remedies the court can order to the rights of election breached by MEC in the May 2019 polls.
The lawyer submitted that MEC violated section 76 of the Republican Constitution, which says that every person is entitled to one vote. According to him MEC did not ensure that as it defaced results via correction fluid called tippex and put more weight to other voters’ votes through alterations thereby violating section 77 of the Constitution.
He also said MEC also violated section 40 of the Constitution.
Msisha said if the votes which were altered were to be removed from Mutharika’s votes, he will not obtain majority votes, hence not a winner.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :