DPP wants Peter sworn-in, opposes recount

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) says it does not want to recount the votes because most of the ballot boxes have been tampered with, some even damaged and insisted a recount would be an insult to the electoral process therefore calling for results to be announced and its leader sworn-in.

DPP leader Peter Mutharika, who on Friday with about a third of the votes counted led with 42% of the unofficial tally, is strongly opposing a recount opting for results to be declared and legal challenges later.

He said the “people have spoken and this was a free and credible election”.

Peter Mutharika and his vice presidential nominee Saulos Chilima
Peter Mutharika and his vice presidential nominee Saulos Chilima
The picture shows damaged ballots and DPP argues it will be folly to recount the ballots and declare a winner.
The picture shows damaged ballots and DPP argues it will be folly to recount the ballots and declare a winner.

President Joyce Banda’s supporters believe the vote was far from fair, and fear the 74-year-old brother of late former president Bingu WA Mutharika may be attempting to steal power.

However, it has been learnt that most of the ballots have been destroyed while DPP claim some have been stuffed with new ballot papers marked in favour of MCP Presidential candidate Dr Lazarus Chakwera.

DPP spokesman Nicholas Dausi said it will be unacceptable “to recount votes in the damaged state of the ballots and then we chose someone as president from this process. How are we going to recount ballot papers that have been destroyed with water? Malawians we need to wake up and do the right thing.”

Dausi was surprised with the reaction of the MCP to the irregularities saying at the time Chakwera was in the lead on Thursday last week when Zodiak radio was announcing unofficial results; their supporters started celebrating and did not talk about the irregularities.

“They are only talking about irregularities now that DPP is back in the lead. What is it about this election? Is it because DPP is in the lead then we have all these irregularities? There is more to the reaction of MCP than what we are being told,” he said.

Dausi insisted it is “extremely illegal” for the Malawi Electoral Commission to order for the recount of the ballot boxes.

He said a recount can only be done after the commission has announced the final results and “they give seven days for any complainant to do that, and that power lies with the Malawi High Court.”

Some legal scholars in Malawi contend that the electoral commission has the mandate to use all powers under the constitution to administer a credible election, which they say includes recounting the vote without authorization from the High Court — if the electoral body determines there were voter irregularities that could undermine the credibility of the poll.

But, Dausi maintained there was no need for a vote recount after international poll observers described the election as free, fair and transparent.

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