LILONGWE — Malawi’s Constitutional Court yesterday annulled the May 2019 presidential vote that declared Peter Mutharika a winner and ordered a re-run after an application from opposition parties citing irregularities.
Mutharika, Malawi president since 2014, won the election with a 38,57% share of the vote, with opposition party leader Lazarus Chakwera getting 35,41% and deputy president Saulos Chilima 20,24% in the final tally.
The electoral commission declared Mutharika the winner despite complaints of irregularities including results sheets with sections blotted out or altered with correction fluid.
Chakwera, the president’s main rival, and Chilima rejected the results and filed a petition to the High Court asking it to nullify the results.
A panel of five judges ordered that a new presidential vote be held within 150 days.
“The use of Tippex (correction fluid) was in contravention of international accounting standards. Alterations are an irregularity and undermined the integrity of elections outcome,” one of the judges, Justice Ivy Kamanga, said.
The streets in Lilongwe and the commercial capital Blantyre were unusually quiet ahead of the ruling, and many businesses were shut, fearing violence and looting from supporters of the losing side. — Reuters