A five judges panel of High Court of Malawi sitting as the Constitutional Court in the presidential election nullification petition has delivered its judgment and nullified the re-election of a sitting president, Peter Mutharika on May 21 2019.
The court delivered a summary judgement as Justice Healy Potani, chairing the panel of judges, said the whole final judgement document will be made available and shared Tuesday by 4pm.
Potani, who said the court has analysed the importance of the case to the nation and legality of the petitions, said the court considered whether Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) infringed on the petitioners’ political rights under section 40 of the Constitution central to the determination of the case
The court declared the presidential result “invalid, null and void” after siding with the petitioners, which had argued that the vote had been fraudulent.
“It has been our findings that irregularities and anomalies have been so widespread, systematic and grave that the integrity of the results have been seriously compromised,” said Potani.
The judges said the electoral body failed to conduct the elections in the manner and dictates of the Constitution.
“We hold the first respondent (Peter Mutharika) was not dully elected during the 21 May 2019 elections. We here by order the nullification of the said elections,” he said.
Mutharika was declared the narrow winner of the May 2019 election with 38% of votes, followed by Lazarus Chakwera with 35% and former vice president Saulos Chilima third with 20%. The four other candidates collectively got nearly 6%.