President Peter Mutharika was asked by Al Jazeera journalist James Bay on television that he is being called ‘Mr Tipp-Ex president’ after numerous presidential election results sheets had figures erased by the correction fluid and different figures superimposed onto them which rallied the opposition presidential hopeful to challenge the results in court.
Mutharika, who is a first respondent in the Constitutional Court election petition case, admitted that Tippex was used, but denied any wrongdoing, and insisted that he won the elections clean; hence, opposition parties should accept and move on.
MCP president Lazarus Chakwera and UTM’s Saulos Chilima are challenging the presidential results, in a historic court case being handled by a panel of five judges in a constitutional court.
He said on Talk to Al Jzeera monitored by Nyasa Times that he won his second and final constitutional five-year term of office through a process that was declared by six international organisations as “free, fair and credible”.
Mutharika, among others, cited the European Union (EU), Commonwealth, African Union (AU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Southern African Development Community (Sadc) observer missions as among those that declared the polls “free, fair and credible”.
But he accused opposition leaders’ campaign to annul the May elections on getting more angry people on the streets with violence.
“It’s the opposition the lost the election and decided not to accept the defeat, they are trying to save their face by saying the elections was rigged. It was not. They are in court now. They are in court. The court will decide whether it was rigged or not. I can assure you the elections was not rigged; free, fair and credible,” said Mutharika.
The Al Jazeera journalist asked: “You know the allegations they are making, perhaps you know the name they are calling you, Mr Tippex, because its claimed the correctional fluid used for type writers was used to change the ballot papers.”
Mutharika said the electoral returning officers were school head teachers who use correction fluid in their schools, saying there was nothing wrong under the law to use the correctional fluid where “there were problems of addition and subtraction” .
He said: “They can make correction. When adding votes in the polling centre, in the process of adding they make a mistake and if they discover a mistake , they correct it in front of monitors of all parties,” said Mutharika.
The matter is now before the country’s Constitutional Court but there is an already volatile situation with some restive sections of civil society and the opposition staging massive nationwide protests amid violence, looting and destruction of property.
There have also been called to change the first-past-the-post electoral system that permitted Mutharika to win the presidency with just 38.57% against Chakwera’s 35.41%.
A new electoral system of 50 plus one is being proposed where a run-off would have been held between the two front runners.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :