Malawi court upholds ruling annulling Mutharika’s election win

Peter Mutharika
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Malawi’s Supreme Court on Friday, in a unanimous decision, upheld an earlier court ruling that annulled President Peter Mutharika‘s narrow election victory last year. A new election will now be held on July 2.

The Constitutional Court in February cited “widespread, systematic and grave” irregularities when it annulled the vote that returned Mutharika to power in the southern African nation last May.

Mutharika and the electoral commission later appealed the Constitutional Court decision.

In its judgment on Friday, the Supreme Court said, “The various breaches undermined the duties of the Malawi Electoral Commission and grossly undermined rights of voters. None of the candidates obtained a majority.”

It added that the electoral commission should not have appealed, as doing so showed it was taking sides.

Mutharika, who has been Malawi’s President since 2014, had won the May election with a 38.57% share of the vote.

The electoral commission had declared him the winner, despite complaints of irregularities.

Opposition leaders Lazarus Chakwera and Deputy President Saulos Chilima both rejected the results and filed the initial petition to the High Court, asking it to nullify the results.

Malawi is dependent on foreign aid and is frequently beset by drought, which threatens the lives of thousands of people.

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

In the video below, Malawi journalist and commentator, Daniel Mababa speaks to SABC News about the February ruling: