A panel of five High Court Judges sitting as a constitutional court has nullified the 2019 presidential election citing noncompliance of the Malawi electoral laws, namely the constitutional of the republic of Malawi, Malawi Elections Act and Presidential and Parliamentary Election Act.
“We hold that the first respondent was not duly elected as President of Malawi. As result we here by order nullification of the elections. We further order that a fresh election be held in accordance to the law and pursuant to directions we will make soon” said the Judge President Potani.
“The status quo in the presidency, that is including the office of the Vice president reverts to what was prior to elections. Fresh elections will have to be held within 150 days (5 months).”
The petitioners, Lazarus Chakwera who represented Malawi Congress Party (MCP) as Presidential candidate as well as Saulos Chilima of UTM, moved the courts to nullify the election saying there was a lot of skull-duggery by the electoral body which compromised the integrity of the election.
The petitioners, among other things, argued that the use of correction fluid popularly known as Tippex compromised the integrity of the election to which the court agreed.
The court also found that Malawi Electoral Commissioners illegally delegated constitutional powers to the Chief Elections Officer who exercised powers which were not his. The court described the commissioners conduct in delegating powers to the Chief Elections Officer, Sam Alfundika, was “unreasonable, absurd and unconstitutional.”
The road leading to the nullification of the election was marred with demonstrations across the streets of Malawi. Violent protests and looting of property was the order of the day by thousands of Malawians opposing the declaration of Peter Mutharika as President of the republic of Malawi.
Ironically, International observers including European Union in a sign of sloppy work in their observation mission described the nullified election as fair, free and credible.
“They came here to squander allowance. They don’t work and the should never come again t observe the upcoming election, They are a waste of our time as these are people who perpetuate impunity” said Jonas Phiri, a resident in the capital Lilongwe.