Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) has called on the State to prosecute those involved in the May 21 2019 ‘Tipp-ex’ presidential election which has forced the Constitutional Court to annul the poll and order for a fresh election.
Party secretary general Kandi Padambo says prosecuting the perpetrators of the electoral fraud and those involved in the manipulation of the vote in favour of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate President Peter Mutharika would deter other would be offenders in future elections.
“This is one way of ensuring the delivery of future free and fair election,” says Padambo.
He said the constitutional court judgment is a landmark decision which has exposed the gravity and extent of the irregularities in the 2019 tripartite elections.
“It has also revealed gross incompetence and total disregard of the electoral laws on the part of the Electoral Commission during the electoral process,” he said.
In their ruling, the five-judge panel of the High Court of Malawi accused the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) of failing to carry out its constitutional duties, negligence and abdication of the same.
The panel, comprising Healey Potani, Redson Kapindu, Ivy Kamanga, Mike Tembo and Dingiswayo Madise, said MEC failed in all constitutional tests it set out on the elections and that the irregularities were so glaring that the credibility of the election was in question.
“In every election there will be irregularities but in the present matter, it has been our finding that the irregularities were so widespread, systematic and grave that the results of the elections have been compromised and cannot be trusted as a reflection of the votes,” Healy Potani, the head of the panel of five judges, said.
Padambo pointed out that the ruling in essence says that the Electoral Commission was sleeping on the job and the Chief elections officer usurped its powers.
“The Electoral Commission presided over a miscarriage of an electoral process and justice which should never have been allowed in a democratic dispensation. It is also very clear from the ruling that the results of elections did not reflect the will of the people of Malawi which is a fundamental prerequisite of any democratic election,” says Padambo.
He says as a country, Malawi cannot continue to move on this path which he says has the potential to reverse the democratic gains.
In light of the judgment, the UDF party secretary general therefore demanded for the immediate dissolution of the electoral commission because it has lost its moral authority to manage credible elections.
He says the UDF applauds the constitutional court judges for displaying total independence through out the hearing and congratulated the petitioners and their legal team for putting up a gallant fight.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :