Malawi court annuls President Mutharika’s 2019 election victory, here’s why

News

How J.C. Penney Is Trying To Make A Comeback

As of April 2020, J.C. Penney saw its shares trading well below $1, and it has long been in danger of being delisted by the New York Stock Exchange. The fate of the company now rests in the hands of its new CEO, Jill Soltau, who took the reins in Oct

How Zoom Rose To The Top During Social Distancing

Zoom has gained an incredible amount of popularity, but that popularity comes at a cost. The company is under intense scrutiny now that hundreds of millions of people are using the platform. But Zoom is in the game for the long haul, if it can surviv

Expo 2020: Dubai as a springboard for doing business in Africa

Dubai based Phanes Group is an end-to-end solar power provider operating across Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. CEO Martin Haupts says the Phanes Group is a truly Dubai home-grown company. CNBC Africa's Chris Bishop caught up with him in Dubai and asked how Dubai is serving as a springboard for the company and their work in Africa.

LILONGWE (Reuters) – Malawi’s Constitutional Court on Monday 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, who formed his own party, had 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.

Mutharika had pledged to crack down on corruption and revive the economy in his second five-year term.

But 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.

In a unanimous decision, a panel of five judges ordered that a new presidential vote be held within 150 days.

“It is almost impossible to have an election free of irregularities,” said Justice Healey Potani, who headed the panel. “However, in the present matter our finding is that the anomalies and irregularities have been so widespread, systematic and grave such that the integrity of the result was seriously compromised, and can’t be trusted as the will of voters of the May 21, 2019 election.”

In a landmark ruling for the country, the court describe the conduct of the electoral commission as “very lacking and demonstrated incompetence”.

The status in the presidency would revert to before the elections, Potani said, which meant Chilima would be reinstated as vice president.

The court also directed Parliament to consider recalling the current electoral body, which is headed by Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Jane Ansah, to “ensure smooth conduct of fresh elections.”

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.

Security forces were out on the streets in large numbers, and the judges delivering the verdict were flown in on a military plane and arrived at the venue in armoured vehicles.

Malawi, a lakeside nation on the southern tip of the Great Rift Valley, is dependent on foreign aid and is frequently beset by drought which threatens the lives of thousands of people.

Former law professor Mutharika, 79, oversaw infrastructure improvements and a slowdown in inflation in his first five-year term, but critics accuse him of cronyism and failing to tackle graft.

Reporting by Frank Phiri; Editing by Grant McCool and Lisa Shumaker

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Featured

Rand hits record low, goes over 19 to dollar as Fitch downgrades SA further into junk status

Last Friday Moody’s, the last rating agency to rate South Africa investment grade, cut South Africa’s sovereign credit rating to junk in line with economists’ forecast. Today Fitch further downgraded the country sending the rand plunging over 19 rand to the dollar. Below it gives its reasons...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

How prepared is Nigeria’s health system to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic?

President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Francis Faduyile says it will be pretty difficult for Nigeria's health system to cope in the event of a large number of COVID-19 infections. He further notes that low health budgets over the years has made Nigeria's health system weak. CNBC Africa's Christy Cole caught up with him to assess the preparedness of Nigeria's health system against the COVID-19 pandemic....

Global Gender Summit: Highlights special of the 2019 Global Gender Summit

The 4th Global Gender Summit was organized by the African Development Bank and co-hosted by the government of Rwanda under the theme “Unpacking constraints to Gender Equality”. At the event, the African Development Bank and its partners officially launched the Risk Sharing Facility of the Affirmative Finance Action for Women In Africa, as the continent moves a step closer to bridging the financing gap that exists for women. CNBC Africa’s Kenneth Igbomor reports....

Op-Ed: Why the COVID-19 pandemic is no time for fiscal distancing

"Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. As such, it can no longer be business as usual".- Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank

Can Cruise Lines Recover From Coronavirus?

The COVID-19 outbreak has laid waste to entire sectors of the global economy, but none faster than the cruise business. The pandemic has basically shut it down with the three largest publicly traded cruise companies suspending some, if not all, of th
- Advertisement -

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -