Malawi’s Constitutional Court overturns the 2019 presidential election result unanimously quashing the 2019 presidential polls won by current President Peter Mutharika, declaring he had been “unduly” elected. Judges have overturned last year’s ‘Tipp-Ex election’ in Malawi, making the southern African nation only the second on the continent since 2017 in Kenya.
These are things from Monday’s Court ruling that we should know and consider when we discuss the Malawi presidential election issue:
- The court highlighted and condemned the fact of using a correction fluid, commonly referred to by the brand name of Tipp-Ex, allegedly in the vote rigging.
- The word “Tipp-Ex” appears 266 times in the 418-page judgement.
- “There was massive use of Tipp-Ex to alter results on the tally sheets,” the document read.
- “The widespread use of Tipp-Ex and other manual alterations on the result tally sheet greatly undermined the integrity of the election,” said the court.
- “The irregularities and anomalies have been so widespread, systematic and grave such that the integrity of the results has been seriously compromised”.
- It has also been noted that more than 75% of the vote results sheets were approved by the election committee without any audit.
The court has strongly condemned Malawi’s current first-past-the-post electoral system for choosing the head of the state.
It interpreted the constitutional provision of “majority of the electorate” as meaning that a candidate should be chosen by more than 50 percent of the ballots cast.
It ordered the organisation of fresh elections within 150 days from the date of its ruling, which was released on Monday, February 3. The 150-day countdown period includes weekends and public holidays.
Malawian President Peter Mutharika plans to challenge a court’s decision to overturn his 2019 election victory, his spokesman said.
According to the Court ruling, Mutharika will remain president until a new election is held.