Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM have welcomed the consolidation of their separate May 21 Tripartite Election petition cases in which both parties are asking the High Court to order a re-run following poll results irregularities.
MCP spokesperson Maurice Munthali said the party legal team will now work together with the UTM lawyers to seek justice against “fraudulent” elections.
“As a party, we do not have a problem because we are pursuing the same goal,” said Munthali.
UTM spokesperson Joseph Chidanti Malunga said it is for the betterment of the people of Malawi that justice should prevail.
“All what UTM wants is justice therefore we welcome any party which is pursuing this cause,” Malunga told Nyasa Times.
High Court Judge Charles Mkandawire ruled on Tuesday that the two cases be consolidated because they are similar, they relate to common question of law and they arise out of the same transaction.
He also said the matter is of constitutional in nature therefore it shall be heard before a three judge panel of the Constitutional Court.
Among irregularities cited was the stuffing of ballot, tampering with election results sheets through correction fluid widely known as Tippex and officials being caught with result sheets at home.
UTM led by the country’s immediate past vice-president Saulos Chilima in its affidavit lodged in court wants the presidential results nullified, arguing the polls were marred by a “plethora of irregularities” including bribing presiding officers and monitors, and stuffing of pre-marked ballots, altering result sheets and intimidation.
In a case filed at the Lilongwe Registry of the High Court of Malawi by lawyer representing MCP, Titus Mvalo, has attached to its application copies of the results sheets that were purportedly tampered with as Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is the defendant in the case.
MEC declared Mutharika winner of the presidential race with 1 940 709 votes or 38.57 percent pipping Chakwera on 35.41% with 1 781 740 votes and Chilima, who debuted on the presidential ballot on UTM Party ticket after falling out with Mutharika last June, finished third with 1 018 369 votes or 20.24 percent.
The DPP also won the parliamentary vote held on the same day.