Malawians will return to the polls in early July for a presidential election rerun ordered by the country’s top court, which annulled last year’s vote results because of irregularities.
“Following the Constitutional Court ruling on February 3 that nullified the presidential elections and ordered that there should be fresh elections, the commission … therefore announces that the elections will be held on 2nd July,” Electoral Commission Chief Jane Ansah told a news conference.
In a landmark ruling last month, the Constitutional Court overturned the outcome of the May 2019 election, which handed President Peter Mutharika a second term in office.
The court said the poll results were fraught with widespread irregularities – in particular, the “massive” use of correction fluid on tally sheets.
It ordered the holding of fresh polls within 150 days, but Mutharika is appealing the court’s ruling. The appeal will be heard in the Supreme Court starting April 15.
A previous attempt by the president to suspend the court ruling was rejected by the top judicial body in February.
The case was the first time a presidential election has been challenged on legal grounds in Malawi since independence from the United Kingdom in 1964, and only the second vote result to be cancelled in Africa after the 2017 Kenya presidential vote.