AG Kaphale moves to poke holes in SKC petition to nullify presidential poll

Written by  MBC Online

Malawi's Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale, legal advisor to Government, on Friday made a move to poke holes at the petition of UTM president Saulos Chilima which seeks to nullify the presidential poll result of the May 21 vote won by President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika.

Did polling staff influence voters on choice of candidates? Did polling staff influence voters on choice of candidates?
09
August

On the second day of cross-examining Chilima, the AG, who is defending the Malawi Electoral Commission which has beeen sued for declaring President Arthur Peter Mutharika winner of the May 21 vote, forced the first petitioner to read part of his petition, which said the elections were marred by a plethora of irregularities.

 

Chilima, the immediate past vice president, reading from his petition said that the count, audit and transmission from polling centres to tally centres, and the tallying of aggregate votes at the main tally centre in Blantyre, was replete with:

.Intimidation of election monitors.

.Bribing of election monitors.

.Presiding officers and other staff of the respondents (MEC) influencing voters on choice of candidates.

.Staff of respondents (MEC) tampering with tally sheets in order to alter results of the vote at particular polling stations and tally centres.

.Unauthorized person being found with ballot papers and boxes.

.Failure to deliver ballots under absolute security.

.Arrest of persons at various places for offences related to breaches of electoral law.

 

Chilima, who came third in the presidential vote, said these cases related to both presidential and parliamentary elections.


But Kaphale, who is seeking to corner Chilima to show that his petition is weak, asked the UTM leader to confirm that that only complaint lodged was about tally sheets, to which Chilima said was correct.

 

Chilima also said no when asked whether there was talk about fake ballots in the petition.

 

The UTM leader also agreed that he did not specify cases of blatant cases of irregularity he claimed happened in Malawi’s 28 districts, nor did he complain about fake signatures of UTM monitors.

 

Hearing continues Friday afternoon where the court was to deliver a ruling whether to allow continued use of translation of the English proceedings into Chichewa after complaints were raised that the Chichewa translation was not good enough and was also delaying hearing.

 

The trial, being held under a panel of five high court justices, is expected to end by July 23 and has gripped both local and international attention.

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