[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
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Thousands of Houthi supporters have called for the fall of Yemen's government. But what do the Houthis really want?
New ration reductions and movement restrictions have refugees from Myanmar anxious about their future in Thailand.
US lawyers say poor translations of election materials disenfranchise Native voters.
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
Residents count the cost of violence after black American teenager shot dead by white Missouri police officer.
join our mailing list