MCP withdraws vote recount bid, petitions court to order Malawi fresh presidential elections

In a surprise move  in the on going Malawi elections dispute case at the Hight Court sitting as a Constitutional Court, the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has changed its stand on the request for a recount of the Presidential Poll and instead the  party is now requesting a fresh election all together.

MCP lawyers Mordecai Msiska (L) and Titus Mvalo
Court has asked MCP lawyer Likongwe to “ sanitize “ his filings
Speaking to the media after the  inter party case scheduling conference in  chambers on Wednesday in Lilongwe lead Counsel for the opposition block Modecai Msiska SC said on instructions from their clients, MCP and the UTM they have applied to the court to amend the petitioners earlier documents to change their prayer to the court .
In all their earlier court submissions, the opposition were asking the court to order a recount for some specific districts citing several rigging acts” by suspected agents of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the results management of the May 21 Tripartite Elections as having distorted results in DPP’s favour.
“ I can confirm that on instructions from our clients we have made an application to the court to allow us amend our petition so that instead of us requesting for a recount of the votes, we would like the court to order that fresh elections be conducted. And we have asked the court to allow us amend our documents accordingly to reflect the new direction,” said Msiska.
MCP, which alongside UTM Party led by the country’s immediate past vice-president Saulos Chilima, is challenging results of the presidential election in which President Peter Mutharika of DPP was declared the winner followed by Chakwera and Chilima in second and third place, respectively.
The country’s oldest political establishment also cites cases of pre-marked ballot papers allegedly stuffed in ballot boxes in Zomba, Machinga and Mangochi districts.
But President Mutharika through his lawyers are opposing the move to amend the application but welcomed what they called the “withdraw of the earlier application”.
“ This is what we said from the beggining. Their so called evidence does not support the petition to recount . There were no issues with counting of the votes. We are glad they have voluntarily withdrawn that one although they chose to be political about it by calling it amendment,” said a lawyer on the team – who asked not to be named because he is not the spokesperson of the  legal team.
According to Msiska, the five judges hearing the matter  -Healey Potani, Mike Tembo, Dingiswayo Madise, Ivy Kamanga and Redson Kapindu – will rule on the application on Thursday alongside other two applications his team has made.
Mutharika and MEC are opposing the new application arguing that the petition includes a request that the fresh election be heard under a new work force at MEC.
“ That’s am attainable . Such an order would assurp the Constitutional powers of the President to apppoint MEC commissioners,” the lawyer added.
The other two applications the opposition has made are that the court should order that some employees of Malawi Electoral Commission  should produce their bank statements and that the court should rule that MEC should submit some rally sheets asked by the opposition.
Meanwhile the Constitutional Court has reprimanded MCP lawyer Likongwe for what the judges said is “ haphazard filing of court evidential documents.”
The court has since asked Likongwe to “ sanitize “ his filings by next week Monday or risk the court rejecting his documents.

MCP contends that Mutharika “won a fraudulent election” fraught with irregularities, including alleged stuffing of ballot papers with pre-marked ballots, tampering with election results sheets through correction fluid and being found in possession of  result sheets at home.

MEC declared Mutharika winner of the presidential race with 1 940 709 votes or 38.57 percent. The electoral body said Chakwera was on second position with 1 781 740 votes, representing 35.41 percent of the vote 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.

Like MCP, UTM is seeking nullification of the election results.

On Monday, electoral body chairperson Jane Ansah dismissed calls for her to resign for allegedly compromising herself and mismanaging the May 21 Tripartite Elections and purportedly favouring President Mutharika.

Ansah, a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal but seconded to MEC by the Judiciary Service Commission, told multi-award winning private broadcaster Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) in an exclusive interview insisted that the elections were not rigged despite all the top three candidates—President Peter Mutharika, Chakwera and Chilima—claiming rigging.

“There was no room for rigging because MEC made the whole process transparent. MEC is an elections management body and we worked together with all our biggest stakeholders to deliver a credible election. I look at the process we put in place and I don’t see any room for rigging. The process was watertight. It was almost impossible to rig. Monitors, observers and auditors were there. The figures are the right figures,” she said.

In the interview, Ansah refused to admit that the widespread use of correction fluid, widely known for the famous brand Tipp-Ex, was evidence of malpractice.

“Was Tippex used for positive or negative purposes? That’s the court to find out,” a composed  Ansah said in a two-hour interview.

“Tippex is a trade name, it’s a correction fluid. You correct errors. That’s what the court will  determine. Was Tippex used for positive or negative purposes?

She refused to open up on whether MEC has conducted an investigation into how Tipp-Ex was supplied, but downplayed its possible impact on the election outcomes.

The case has attracted scores of lawyers with MCP’s  Chakwera alone—who is the second petitioner in the case, represented by lawyers from 10 legal firms, including Mordecai Msisha, Likongwe and Company, Juris Chambers, Lloyds Associates, Odeide Tax Lawyers, Albaart Chambers, Chris and Legal, Kawelo Lawyers.

President Peter Mutharika, DPP’s presidential candidate and eventual winner of the disputed official results announced by MEC, is represented by, among others, lawyers from Mbeta and Co, M & M Global, Pious Attorneys, Makiyi, Kanyenda & Associates and Mhango & Co.

Chilima’s lead attorney is Dr Chikosa Sulungwe.
The full hearing is expected to start July 29.

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Achiswe.
1 year ago

Nothing is going to happen. Mutharika has now consolidated his hold on power and will not relinquish it. He holds all the cards and will not allow himself to be unseated. Malawi has the old guy in power for another five years and will have to live with it. In the meantime the whole political system cries out for reform and tribalism has absolutely got to be destroyed.

Thinktank
Thinktank
1 year ago

Good move by MCP…..its normal for the injured to change the form of remedy they want from courts.Its normal and common.Why do recount on doctored and fake ballots from fattaou printers as well…..?….This was flawed process..and fresh elections only way to go

Fake Petros
Fake Petros
1 year ago
Reply to  Thinktank

Why is MCP so sluggish and not proactive in dealing with such matters of national interest?

Jamax
Jamax
1 year ago

Yes good idea!!! we need fresh elections but we shall have them in 2024 panopa tipume kaye zandale tatopa nazo ife – let’s ALL go back to our work places, our businessess, our fields and develop our country – for your information politics does NOT bring food in our HOMES. Inu a Timothy ndi anzanu a Trapence STOP cheating people inu mumadya zaulele basi mukapanga mademo you go to famous Restaurants in Town and feed yourself with expensive meals whilst the poor Malawians whom you invite to demonstrate in the streets go home hungry and they sleep without anything on… Read more »

concerned citizen
concerned citizen
1 year ago

Ndizokaikitsa kwambiri ngati mabaloti a last election adakali intact. Ndikutero chifukwa zinawululika kuti MEC was already changing the results records on their web site and the court ordered them to stop. what was the reason behind the changing of the records. In this case already some thing is fishy for a recount to be done.

namatetule
1 year ago

Now we see the reverse- MCP wants to Tipp-Ex their case in court. Kodi mwazelezeka ? kapena chani/ Even if we went to vote again simungawine- full stop. Panonso you have invited alot of negativity.

Mukufuna kukaba m’boma inu ngongole zachuluka munya muona?

Scott M Huber
1 year ago
Reply to  namatetule

Nematetule . . .

Bringing ALL the evidence before the Courts is not TIPP-EXing the case! It gives critical momentum to challenge the present results! The out come solution of resolving the error or fraud is yet to be decided!

An MRI scan of the MEC TIPP-EXed documents will give facts prevented Malwaians so far!

Grace
Grace
1 year ago

If you find a roach in your food, you throw the whole thing out. If you find 2 or more roaches, all the more reason.

The new election will be paid for by whoever is found to have made a conscious effort to tamper with the first election.

Scott M Huber
1 year ago
Reply to  Grace

Grace . . .

The conscious efforts of DPP and APM has already been noted. DPP & APM Agents and EVEN APM’S PERSONAL PRESIDENTIAL.AIDS / ASSISTANTS electioneering at the polling sites with most likely embezzled and misappropriated international aid money rigged the election in of itself! How much more evidence do they need?

TIPP-EX REVELATIONS should further underscore the already had DPP APM election rigging bribe evidence!

SO IT IS CLEAR DPP AND APM WILL BE THE STUCKEES FOR THE BILL! 😀 😀 😀

Bellani
Bellani
1 year ago
Reply to  Scott M Huber

There you go! You have very accurately identified the funding source for the new elections.

good job!!!

TOSH
1 year ago

that agood idea MCP my lovely party if we could have gone for recounting those guys stupid MEC would have tampered the ballots so that it should tally with what they are having on their sheets, in another way MEC its untrust worthy

Nalingula
Nalingula
1 year ago

Makes sense…Were voting materials secured after voting…Was there security when moving the ballot boxes…Didn’t we hear of incidents where some people were being given to or three Presidential ballot papers…Premarked ballot papers…Bangwe someone was just beaten ,Mzimba the Teacher was just chased away…Timaphwekesa Zisankho punishment should have been Life Imprisonment…Didn’t we hear of Incidents of Ballot Box stuffing… after closure of Polling Centres….

Bule
Bule
1 year ago

The so-called intelligent lawyers can’t file proper documents? KiKiKi. Koma kumeneko: Kugwa nayo poyera-yera. MCP and UTM are confused. The recount would have been a basis for a rerun. Now that they don’t want that – ife kungoseka.

Scott M Huber
1 year ago
Reply to  Bule

MCP & UTM may have realized that this is a case of either or but not both! In other words they wanted to make sure the most critical finality was exacted by the Court which is a new vote!

There is no guarantee that the RECOUNT would foment a new election!

You have to remember the Attorney’s are employed by MCP & UTM. Their bosses are MCP and UTM! THE attorneys HAVE TO FOLLOW THEIR BOSSES’ ORDERS or be fired!

The filing of proper documents issue is CONJECTURE!

dalo
dalo
1 year ago

Mukuopa chani adpp rerun????? No recount yes because inu ndimbava zazikuluzikulu apo kupitanso basi kukavota and musayembekezzelenso kuti apumbwa anu azasokonezanso mayazi.So,ngati munawina adpp rerun mupambananso!!!! More fire new malawi.

HUU
HUU
1 year ago
Reply to  dalo

Simungawine ngakhale titavota ka 100 mabishop anakutembelelani inu

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