One of the key witnesses for Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential hopeful Lazarus Chakwera, a data entry supervisor during the May 21 Tripartite Elections Peter Lackson Chimangeni on Thursday conceded that the party’s two parallel tally centers may have different presidential results which were not brought before the Constitutional Court.
Chakwera, who came second in the presidential race, claims through the witness who prefers to be called Peter Lackson, that he polled 1 955 901 votes against Mutharika’s 1 873 689, according to the party’s parallel national tally centre.
But during cross-examination from Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale, who is representing MEC in the presidential election petition case, Lackson told the court that no parallel tally center the party had brought a comprehensive tarbulation of the elections results down to both stream and polling level but rather used aggregated results at the polling stations.
In his sworn statement at Constitutional Court record, Lackson stated that they established a computer-based results management platform, which was designed to collect results throughout the country using software which would upload the results directly into their system in conjunction with phone calls and hand delivered results of Form 66C.
Asked by Kaphale why he did not want the court to see the different results from the two parallel tally centers, Lackson said “they were not important because they were not part of the pettition.”
He said the party used forms downloaded from the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) website and some results which were provided by the electoral body’s communications officer Sangwani Mwafulirwa for turbulation because MCP monitors were denied access to Form 66Cs.
As the one way of cross-checking, the party had to call some monitors to confirm the results.
However, Lackson told the court that he did not brought a list of monitors who were denied access to Form 66Cs and their centers.
In his sworn statement, the witness claims the irregularities affected more than 1 520 427 votes cast, which he says is 30 percent of the total vote cast.
“Based on the magnitude of the votes affected by the irregularities, there is material evidence that the determination of presidential elections is neither credible nor done in accordance with the established procedures set out under the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act (PPEA),” Lackson claims.
According to results released by MEC, second respondent in the case, President Peter Mutharika, who is the first respondent in the case, won the race by 1 940 709 votes, trailed by Chakwera with 1 781 740 votes—a difference of 158 969 votes.
The electoral body placed UTM Party president Saulos Chilima on third position, with 1 018 369 votes—a margin of 6 225 lower votes going by what MCP is claiming in court using their parallel national tally centre.
Chakwera, who is second petitioner in the case, is alongside Chilima (first petitioner), challenging the re-election of President Mutharika, alleging that the presidential results in May were marred by irregularities and fraud.
The MCP presidential hopeful is asking the Constitutional Court to direct MEC to organise and conduct a fresh Presidential Election in strict conformity with the Constitution and Presidential and Parliamentray Elections Act.
Chakwera claims, in his sworn statement, that MEC accepted the use of results tally sheets defaced with Tippex as a record for the polled votes, in place of original results tally sheets with no Tippex on them, without any plausible justification.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :