Mutharika says JB has no mandate to nullify elections: AG speaks out

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Peter Mutharika who has been tipped to win the presidential race with a narrow margin according to unofficial results has dismissed the decree by President Joyce Banda to nullify the elections.

Banda said at a news conference on Saturday that she is annulling this week’s general election – in which she was a candidate – because of voting “irregularities”.

She said her decision was backed by the Constitution.

But Mutharika, who has been a professor of law at Washington University, dismissed the order, saying Banda has no mandate to nullify the election.

Mutharika:  Says Banda has no mandate to nullify elections
Mutharika: Says Banda has no mandate to nullify elections

“I would appeal to the president to ask people to be calm. I hope she abandons the path she is taking,” said Mutharika as a news conference.

Mutharika said powers to manage the elections rests in the Malawi Electoral Commission and that Constituion gives the electoral body the independence.

He commended Justice Maxon Mbendera, the MEC Chairperso, saying he is “a man of great intergrity” and that despite challenges “he is doing his best.”

Meanwhile, Attorney General Anthony Kamanga said he provided legal advise to the president on the path to take.

“I provided my advice. But as you know, my job as Attorney General is to give advice; it is not to compel the one I am advising to follow my advice. The choice of whether or not to follow my advice is with the client, not with the Attorney General,” said Kamanga.

Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) a private radio accredited by MEC to cover the polls, puts Mutharika as winner with 1 789 364 votes followed by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate Lazarus Chakwera who polled 1 387 500 votes.

People’s Party candidate Joyce Banda got 1 042 686 votes, while Atupele Muluzi of the United Democratic Front (UDF) got 665 819 votes.

But the nation awaits for the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), the only authority with the legal mandate to officially announce electoral outcomes in Malawi.

Mutharika will become the country’s fifth Head of State.

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