Chakwera blasts international election observers as Malawi court found widespread irregularities

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera has accused international observers for declaring May last year’s presidential election credible, yet the Constitutional Court has found “widespread, systematic and grave” irregularities including significant use of correction fluid – Tipp-ex- to alter the outcome.

Chakwera greets thousands upon thousands of MCP followers at party headquarters in Lilongwe during victory celebration

The international election observers including European Union (EU), Commonwealth, Sadc and African Union (AU) had declared that Malawi elections were conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner and rushed to endorse President Peter Mutharika’s re-election even while the opposition was challenging the result.

But Chakwera said the Constitutional Court ruling to annul the polls raised awkward questions about the foreign election observers.

Now, in the aftermath of the Constitution Court ruling, those declarations seem premature and utterly wrong.

Speaking to thousands upon thousands of party supporters at MCP headquarters in Lilongwe during a victory celebration for Monday’s court ruling, Chakwera Many faulted the foreign observers and governments for endorsing the election so swiftly.

“I have no issues with them, but I have issues with particular folks that they would just write reports about how this has gone right whether they are from [Southern Africa Development Community} Sadc, Europe or America.

“These elections were marred by so many irregularities and constitutional laws were deliberately disobeyed and yet some people in this country had reason t even go to United Nations (UN) and say that they won fair and square and even calling me a terrorist… when all we were seeking was justice,” said Chakwera.

Many commentators also called for a re-examination of the role of the election’s international observers, who put the country’s stability ahead of the election’s credibility.

They argued that the observers did not do their work properly as they needed to do a lot of background checks on the electoral system of Malawi  before making the final conclusion.

“We no longer need international election observers,  They are useless,” a social-political commentator Stanley Onjezani Kenani wrote on Facebook.

In their ruling, the five-judge panel of the High Court of Malawi accused the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) of failing to carry out its constitutional duties, negligence and abdication of the same.

The panel, comprising Healey Potani, Redson Kapindu, Ivy Kamanga, Mike Tembo and Dingiswayo Madise, said MEC failed in all constitutional tests it set out on the elections and that the irregularities were so glaring that the credibility of the election was in question.

“In every election there will be irregularities but in the present matter, it has been our finding that the irregularities were so widespread, systematic and grave that the results of the elections have been compromised and cannot be trusted as a reflection of the votes,” Healy Potani, the head of the panel of five judges, said.

The court called for a new ballot within 150 days.

While the new election may be risky, the court ruling is being praised as a breakthrough for democracy and the rule of law in a region where vote-rigging has been common in the past.

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Tsiku la Mowa
Tsiku la Mowa
1 year ago

Other people are also blasting MCP (and other opposition parties) for gross negligence in not doing enough to ensure that the 21 May 2019 poll would be well managed. Chilumpha this afternoon was very bitter, saying that anyone could see that the MEC commissioners were so compromised that they couldn’t deliver a credible election. Moffat Banda and Jean Mathanga for example should not have been commissioners in the first place. Blame should not just go to the Election Observers. If you notice that something is going wrong you have a duty to push for correction BEFORE it’s too late. Personally… Read more »

Jose
Jose
1 year ago

AAmen man of God the devil indeed has fallen democracy and Malawi has won.

Mangochi Kabwafu
Mangochi Kabwafu
1 year ago

Yes no more paid holidays for these tourists, so called observers. WE DO NOT NEED THEM HENCE SHOULD BE BANNED FORTHWITH. No one goes and observes their elections in the west.

Big Mbuzi
Big Mbuzi
1 year ago

Tippex sniffing dogs required

David Wa Betha
David Wa Betha
1 year ago

International observers should change the system all together. They should stop financing incompetent institutions like MEC rather they use their funds to deploy auditors, real technicians to check things on the ground. Such independent auditors should be deployed to each and every polling station and tarrying centers. Their reports should match what MEC get. Their report should then be summarized to inform what one EU political observer should submit. Now what we see now!

Mabvuto
Mabvuto
1 year ago
Reply to  David Wa Betha

These international observers they came here has tourist not doing there mindful job, always you see them chatting with government and MEC officials writting reports before voting finishes asking about people’s opinions ,

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