UTM Party president Saulos Chilima and first petioner in the election nullification case has called on the European Union (EU) Election Observer Mission (EOM) to put off presentation of its final report on the disputed May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections., saying doing so is “ill-timed” and his Malawi Congress Party (MCP) counterpart Lazarus Chakwera who is also challenging the results in court over alleged irregularities has agreed with him.
In a letter to EU Malawi office dated January 7 2020, Chilima said the report is sub judicial as the presential elections dispute is awaiting judgement and he condemns the decision in strongest terms.
“The intended presentation of the report is ill-timed, careless and amounts to an extra-judicial gimmick to meddle with, and influence, pending litigation. I condemn this in the strongest terms,” reads the letter in part.
SKC, as Chilima is fondly known, has further turned down an invitation to meet the mission.
He said: “We are waiting for judgement [in the Constitutional Court]. The EU should respect the courts and wait for the judgement. We have informed the EU in writing that we will not be attending the meeting.”
SKC further says, while he appreciates the European Union’s support and cooperation for the improvement of the country’s election management system, the presentation is “not only poorly timed but it also breaches the legal process under way in the Malawi courts”.
He said :”I strongly object to the presentation of the report at this time. It must be obvious to both the Delegation and the Mission that comprehensive reports on the tripartite elections must be avoided in light of the litigation that has since ensued.”
Chakwera has also faulted EU for “bad timing” in presentation of the report but
MCP secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka said his party will honour an invitation to attend the meeting with EU delegation..
The European Union Observer Mission has also received wide condemnation from various quarters, mainly on social media, for its decision to present its May 21 elections report months after the polls.
EU Deputy Head of Mission Aurelie Valtat, who is also head of the political and media office, said it is “a standard return mission” and “not unique to Malawi.”
MEC chairperson Justice Jane Ansah declared the presidential elections to be free and fair and that the results were the true reflection of the will of the people of Malawi.
President Mutharika who won the dispiuted polls has repeatedly quoted observers as having declared the electoral process credible, but Chilima and Chakwera are challenging the presidential election results in court over alleged irregularities, especially in the results management system.
Voting in the tripartite elections took place on May 21 2019 in all the 5002 polling stations.
According to Ansah, out of 6 859 570 registered voters, 5 105 983 turned up for polling representing 74.44 percent. A total of 74 719 votes were declared null and void representing 1.09 percent.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :