The High Court order to have fresh parliamentary election in Lilongwe City South East constituency only substantiate claims of rigging in the May 20 tripartite polls, South Africa based legal commentator Professor Danwood Chirwa said.
The High Court also confirmed the lack of credibility of the polls’ results after establishing that evidence submitted to the court was only ‘ a tip of the iceberg’.
High Court Judge Esmie Chombo nullified the parliamentary election in which the Malawi Electoral Commission declared Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Bently Namasasu winner by 98 votes against Malawi Congress Party’s (MCP) Ulemu Msungama, who challenged the results.
Justice Chombo said it was difficult to decide who won the election in the constituency because of the unreliability of the documentary evidence as “most of them have cancellations, writing over and wrong additions, and relying on that documents may result in miscarriage of justice”.
“This may be an indication that what has surfaced may only be a tip of the iceberg,” said Chombo Tuesday.
Reacting to the development, Professor Chirwa, based at University of Cape Town, said in comments published in The Nation that “it was confirmation that irregularities in the constituency substantiated the claims of rigging in the May 20 polls”.
According to him, in the absence of petitions on presidential election results by the losing candidates, Malawi would be left to speculate if the irregularities were specific to Lilongwe City South East or they were endemic throughout the country.
“If they were rampant, the affected parties and contestants have done the country a great disservice in condoning electoral fraud. Their inaction means that we will never know the whole truth about the 2014 parliamentary and Presidential polls,” Chirwa said.
He also said this means that the nation may never be in a position to devise appropriate mechanisms for preventing such fraudulent conduct in future.
Chirwa then asked the Commission to investigate elements of criminality surrounding the 2014 polls for possible prosecution.
Meanwhile, Justice Link Justin Dzonzi has advised MEC to carry out quality control checks and recruit competent people in mathematics and sciences apart from teachers, who work as polling staff.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :