Malawi Speaker Chimunthu accepts defeat, discredit DPP elections

Chimunthu Banda conceeds defeat but says process was not fair.Ba....Photo Jeromy Kadewere
Chimunthu Banda conceeds defeat but says process was not fair.Ba….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Speaker of Parliament Henry Chimunthu Banda has conceded electoral defeat to Peter Mutharika as president of former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

But while conceding defeat, Chimunthu Banda has discredited the whole election process, arguing it was not fair.

“It’s obvious the whole process has not been that fair. I am a democrat that’s why I had to be here,” Chimunthu Banda told Nyasa Times in an interview at Comesa Hall  after Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) announced the official results.

Chimunthu Banda, conspicuously dejected, lost to Professor Peter Mutharika by 1, 266 votes against 73.

“In as far as figures are concerned there could be very little one could dispute,” conceded Chimunthu.

However, he was quick to point out that he was not quitting the party, not yet, saying “One has to go on with life.”

He said the playing field was not level hence his humiliating defeat.

“Election process is not an event, one has to look at whole process and determine if it was at all free and fair. I don’t think it has been fair, everyone knows that,” said Chimunthu Banda.

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chief Elections Officer Willie Kalonga, who administered the polls declared Mutharika the winner after he got 1266 against 73 for Chimunthu Banda.

Kalonga said the electoral college of the DPP had 1370 people but only 1356 voted, out of which 17 votes were declared null and void, after the rest were disqualified.

“As a body that administered the elections, we declare that the elections were free, fair and credible,” said Kalonga who led a team of 56 officials from the electoral body.

Kalonga congratulated Prof Mutharika for the landslide victory and wished him well.

Chimunthu Banda was the only challenger against Mutharika in the race for the party’s presidency and 2014 tripartite elections torchbearer.

Mutharika has acted as party president since the death, in April 2012, of his brother and former President Bingu wa Mutharika.

Chimunthu Banda welcomed at DPP convention.....Photo Jeromy Kadewere
Chimunthu Banda welcomed at DPP convention…..Photo Jeromy Kadewere

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