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THE Malawi Constitutional Court on Monday, in Lilongwe the nation’s capital, has declared that President Peter Mutharika was not duly elected on May 21, 2019, and has therefore demanded fresh elections.
According to a video footage by Aljazera and series of tweets by a Malawian election page the court led by Judge Potani nullified the results of last year’s presidential election that declared Peter Mutharika the winner.
The five-man panel cited “widespread, systematic and grave” irregularities including significant use of correction fluid to alter the outcome
The two leading opposition candidates had challenged the narrow election win of President Peter Mutharika, alleging that the irregularities affected over 1.4 million of the total 5.1 million votes cast.
Mr. Mutharika, Malawi’s president since 2014, won the election with a reported 38.57 percent share of the vote. Opposition party leader Lazarus Chakwera received 35.41 percent and Deputy President Saulos Chilima, who formed his own party, had 20.24 percent in the final tally.
For months, there has been demonstrations across the nation of which some of them had been violent since the announcement of the results in May 2019, by Malawians of the opposition asking that the results be reviewed and annulled leading to the presence of heavy security outside the court.
Subsequently, the court also ruled that Everton Chimulirenji is no longer the vice president of Malawi.
The court’s ruling in the case of the presidential election has effectively reinstated the United Transformation Party(UTM), leader Saulos Chilima as the current vice president of Malawi.
Chimulirenji became vice president in May last year following the elections which the Constitutional Court on Monday declared null and void.
Lead Judge Healey Potani stated that the status in the presidency including the office of the vice president reverts to what it was prior to May 21, 2019, elections.
A new vote will be held within 150 days, the court said in its unanimous ruling of the five-man panel, who expressed hope the ruling would not “destroy the nation.