Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has given its defence submissions in the historic presidential elections petition case with Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale stating that there was no skulduggery or unscrupulous conduct by the electoral body to subvert the will of the people in the May 21 polls.
Kaphale, who is representing MEC as Chief Legal Adviser for government, submits that the electoral body did not compromise any of the candidates’ right to be elected and that the polls not marred by serious irregularities or rigged in favour of President Peter Mutharika – the first respondent.
MEC is the second respondent in the case while UTM Party president Saulos Chilima is the first petitioner and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera is the second petitioner.
Chilima and Chakwera are seeking nullification of the elections on the basis of irregularities in the results management system.
But in their submissions, MEC lawyers who include Tamando Chokhotho argue that Chilima and Chakwera failed to substantiate the claims outlines in their petitions.
MEC argues that the evidence tendered by Chilima and Chakwera and not objective to prove rigging.
“Our position and our submission is that there must be presented before the court, evidence pointing towards the existence of a sham election which is a substantial departure from the law on how an election must be conducted, only then should an election result be nullified.
“That is how sanctified the vote or election result is when conducted in a manner that does not resemble a departure from constitutional or statutory mandate. Our further submission is that there is no such evidence,” reads the submission by Attorney General split into two, one with 174 pages and another with 18 pages.
Kaphale insist in the submissions that MEC never played around with any candidate valid votes, stating if this had happened, evidence would have been presented to party monitors and they would have brought it to court.
MEC submits that the petitioners have not reached the threshold of proof of balance of probabilities to prove their case.
Kaphale prayed that the court should dismiss the petition for rerun for lacking merit, stressing it is an attempt to undermine the will of the people.
The five-judge panel comprising Ivy Kamanga, Healey Potani, Redson Kapindu, Mike Tembo and Dingiswayo Madise are expected to hear the oral submissions this week and thereafter have about 45 days to deliver its verdict.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :