Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera has now publicly rejected President Peter Mutharika’s election victory in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections as fraudulent, saying he will pursue legal and constitutional means to challenge the result.
Addressing a news conference at MCP Headquarters in Lilongwe on Friday morning, tough talking Chakwera vehemently said he and his party will not be accepting fake results.
Chakwera described the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) declaration of Mutharika as winner of the presidential election as fiction.
He started his news conference by commending Malawians who trooped to the polling centres to cast their ballots in peaceful, orderly, and lawful manner.
“You did this because you trusted that those competing for your votes and those tallying and tabulating your votes would likewise act lawfully.
“In short, you went to cast your vote believing that your vote would be counted correctly, fairly, honestly, and openly. Tragically, within 48 hours of voting, it became obvious that the tabulation of your votes was being manipulated in broad daylight,” said Chakwera.
MCP presidential hopeful said as soon as he learnt the alleged manipulation of votes he spoke out publicly.
“I did this hoping that the Malawi Electoral Commission would respond by catching the perpetrators and addressing the irregularities I highlighted. Sadly, the alarm I raised fell on deaf ears. In fact, the Malawi Electoral Commission seemed to react to my cry for justice by becoming defensive and combative, assuring us that all was well and that there was nothing to worry about.”
He said MEC led by Justice Jane Ansah launched a “smear campaign” against MCP by publicly claiming the party did not submit any written complaints against the irregularities.
“What we have witnessed in front of our very eyes is not an election, but daylight robbery, a crime against our decency as a people and our democracy as a nation. I know that most of you have mourned for our nation in the face of this crime, and so have I, but tears are not enough,” said Chakwera.
MCP leader said he will not accept the results of the presidential results because they were fraudulent.
“I, Lazarus Chakwera, reject MEC’s fraudulent presidential results, and I join all Malawians in rejecting that MEC’s declaration of Mutharika as the winner represents the will of Malawians who cast their votes,” said Chakwera in remarks broadcast live on Times.
Chakwera said he will pursue all means necessary – legal and constitutional – to make sure that MCP protect the people’s vote,
“For this reason, pursuant to Section 114 (1) and (3d) of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act and having gathered overwhelming evidence of gross violations of the Act, I have started filing a petition to the High Court of Malawi to nullify MEC’s presidential results and declare the presidential elections of May 21, 2019 void.
Chakwera said he initially considered applying to the court to stop the swearing in ceremony and inauguration of Mutharika.
“However, I decided that this would not be in the best interest of the country because the protracted absence of a President and Cabinet would disturb the state’s service provision and cause millions of innocent Malawians to suffer,” he said.
Chakwera appealed to all Malawians who feel “angry and heartbroken” because their vote was not counted properly to join thousands of MCP petitioners who will march “peacefully” to the High Court from the day the hearing starts to the day it is concluded.
He said citizens presence at the High Court when the hearing starts, will send a signal to Mutharika that “he is operating illegally and on borrowed time.”
Chakwera ended his statement by stating that: “For Malawi to rise, Mutharika must fall.”
The MCP leader did not take questions from journalists.
During the swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday, Mutharika asked political leaders who contested the May elections to move forward.
“Most of them have accepted that there is only one winner at a time. So, it’s now time to move on. The election is over; there is a time to fight, there is a time to unite,” said Mutharika.
Mutharika, who contested the election on Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ticket, narrowly retained the presidency after beating his closest challenger Chakwera and the country’s former vice-president Saulos Chilima of UTM Party finished third.
There were seven presidential candidates in total.
In the parliamentary race, DPP won 62 seats in the 193-seat National Assembly followed by MCP and independent candidates with 55 apiece.
In the new Parliament, United Democratic Front (UDF) will have 10 seats, People’s Party (PP) five, UTM Party four and Alliance for Democracy (Aford) one.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :