Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president and torchbearer in the May 21 Tripartite Elections has been rebuked for uttering sensational remarks over announcement of election results which, according to pollster Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), were recipe for unrest.
Chakwera, a preacher-turned-politician, told the media Wednesday in an imprompt news conference at his Namiwawa residence in the commercial capital of Blantyre that he was aware of foul play on the part of the current government to subvert the will of Malawians.
He warned against attempts to rig the country’s election, claiming he was leading as votes were slowly tallied.
Early official results showed President Peter Mutharika and Chakwera were equal on about 37% of the vote with about one-third of polling centres counted after Tuesday’s election.
“So far the message is clear, we know that we have a tremendous lead,” he told a news conference at his house in Blantyre. No one is going to rig this election. Justice is going to prevail,” he said and threatened to reject the results.
According to Chakwera, who sounded emotional and authoritative throughout his briefing, his monitors had confided in him that he was leading by “40 to 50 percent.”
Said Chakwera: “To those evil people in power still trying to tamper with the results, my message is very simple. I know of your activities and if you do not desist, you will soon face the long arm of the law. I know of your failed attempts to rig these elections. I know of plans to stir public panic.”
He said Malawians have been denied electoral justice for long.
But the electoral body took a swipe at Chakwera for inciting violence.
MEC Chairperson, Jane Ansah, in a media briefing Wednesday night asked Chakwera to behave responsibly.
She described Chakwera’s utterances were recipe for “inciting anarchy” in the country.
State vice president and UTM Party torchbearer also said in a statement Wednesday night that respecting the code of conduct political leaders signed in the run up to the elections was of utmost importance.
Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has since rebuked Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) for giving Chakwera the platform to utter his “irresponsible” statement.
MACRA also warned all other broadcasters to avoid giving political leaders space until final results were announced.
Chakwera was giving a second try at the presidential race having failed to make it in the 2014 election with 450 000.
His party, MCP, has always disputed the results with allegations of rigging.
Malawi’s use of first past the post rule means that whoever gets the highest vote is declared winner. Unlike in other African countries were a runoff is called if a candidate fails to secure over 50% of valid votes cast.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :