[QODLink]
Africa

Malawi presidential poll slides into chaos

Electoral commission says votes cast exceed registered voters, hours after blocking president from stopping election.

Last updated: 25 May 2014 06:57
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Malawi's electoral commission has said that the number of votes cast in this week's presidential election exceeded the number of voters registered, hours after blocking the president's attempt to declare the poll "null and void".

The commission late on Saturday said it had suspended announcing results and ordered a physical re-count, with commissioner Chimkwita Phiri saying the number of ballots counted exceeded the number of voters registered.

The announcement came hours after the commission successfully sought a high court ruling against president Joyce Banda's declaration that the election was "null and void" and that she was ordering a new poll.

Banda said there were "serious irregularities" including multiple voting, ballot-tampering and a flawed computerised counting system.

I have never heard anywhere in the world where an opposition can rig an election.

Peter Mutharika, leader of the opposition DPP,

"I am nullifying the elections, using the powers invested in me by the Malawi constitution," she said. A fresh election would be held within 90 days, she said, adding that she would not stand in the re-run.

The commission had earlier released preliminary results showing opposition Democratic Progressive Party candidate Peter Mutharika leading with 42 percent of the vote, followed by Banda with 23 percent. This was based on 30 percent of the total votes counted.

"Nothing in the constitution gives the president powers to cancel an election," said Mutharika on Saturday. "I have never heard anywhere in the world where an opposition can rig an election," he said.

On Friday, the Malawi's electoral commission said it had received 135 complaints of irregularities, which it was investigating before announcing the official results.

"We're committed to a process that's accurate and transparent. As far as we know, polling was free and fair in 99 percent of the centres and both local and international observers have commended the process," said a spokesman.

 

309

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.