United Democratic Front (UDF) says it is “suspicious” with the fire which set ablaze Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) warehouse n Lilongwe where ballot boxes were being kept.
The ballots are at the centre of disputed race in which the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Bently Namasasu narrowly beat Ulemu Msungama of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) by 98 votes.
It comes amid MCP demand for a recount of voting papers which DPP stopped with a court injunction and the High Court was set to hear arguments about the case on Thursday.
“The whole thing is suspicious and may force people to make their own conclusions,” UDF spokesman Ken Ndanga told Nyasa Times in an interview.
“Such incidents may just create unnecessary political tension which should be avoided at this time when we have a new government in place,” he added.
If the recount for this constituency had overturned the official result, it would have cast doubt on the whole election.
MCP leader Lazarus Chakwera, who came second in the presidential poll, was also seeking a recount through the courts as his party still maintains that President Peter Mutharika was declared winner of May 20 elections on fraudulent votes.
According to MEC’s Chief Elections Officer Willie Kalonga, the commission is still regarding the incident as a normal fire until the cause is established following thorough investigations.