As the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) will on Monday February 3 2020 deliver the landmark judgement where the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazarus Chakwera and UTM’s Saulos Chilima are challenging the results of last year’s presidential election, governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) director of elections, Ben Phiri has said in case the court orders a re-run, the party followers must be ready to vote again.
Phiri, who is also Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, was addresseing DPP followers in his Thyolo Central Constituency on Friday
He urged them to be calm, regardless of the verdict.
“During the last elections, this area alone has 42 000 leigible voters. But only 32 000 registered and out of that only 20 000 voted. This was the case in many areas where DPP has support. So, in the unlikely event that the elections are nullified, we just have to register and vote in large numbers so that we defend what is rightfully ours,” Phiri was quoted by the Stat- run MBC as having told the constituents.
He, however, said in case the court orders a re-run, the party followers must be ready to vote again.
Phiri was a key witness to President Peter Mutharika, who is first respondent in the presidential election case, and in his testimony he admitted electoral flaws in May 21 2019 elections that included officers filling in inappropriate boxes of the tally sheets because of failure to understand some terminologies.
He also admitted use of Tippex, duplicate forms and alterations of results on tally sheets by some polling staff but told the ConCourt that Tippex was used correctly.
During his testimony, he was also made to read out his sworn affidavit, which stated that auditors which the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) hired to scrutinise and certify the electoral process, rejected many of the tally sheets because of missing signatures of some political parties.
But, according to Phiri, MEC gave the DPP permission to approve all papers if they only had signatures of presiding officers.
Meanwhile, the five-judge panel of Healey Potani, Mike Tembo, Dingiswayo Madise, Redson Kapindu and Ivy Kamanga takes to the bench by 9am Monday, February 3 2020 to deliver the momentous judgement.
UTM’s Saulos Chilima and Malawi Congress Party (MCP)’s Lazarus Chakwera dragged Mutharika and MEC to court after the DPP leader was declared the winner in the elections.
They allege that the poll results were fraught with irregularities and the electoral process was mismanaged by MEC in favour of Mutharika.
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