Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Malawi to Recount Disputed Votes
Malawi President Joyce Banda.
May 27, 2014

BLANTYRE. — Malawi’s electoral commission has ordered a recount in some areas after discovering some voting anomalies after last Tuesday’s general election.In one constituency nearly five times as many people voted as there were names on the voters’ roll.

The High Court on Saturday over-ruled an attempt by president Joyce Banda to annul the vote which she said was marred by rigging.

One of her main rivals Peter Mutharika has a lead in unofficial exit polls.

Her other main challenger is a former preacher, Lazarus Chakwera, the candidate of the Malawi Congress Party, which governed from independence in 1964 until the first multi-party poll in 1994.

Banda, who came to power two years ago after the sudden death of president Bingu wa Mutharika, had said a new vote should be held within 90 days and she would not stand.

Peter Mutharika is the brother of the late president and had served as his foreign minister.

The BBC’s Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre said there was a heated meeting between the Malawi Electoral Commission and the political parties who took part in the election before a recount was agreed on Sunday evening.

The vote was chaotic with many polling stations opening hours late  Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party had tried to get an injunction against any recount.

“We will reco unt the votes in 42 stations where there were anomalies,” an electoral commissioner, Emmanuel Chimkwita-Phiri, said.

“We will investigate who was behind this and the law will punish them.”

One constituency had only 38 000 voters registered but more than 184 000 actually voted in the presidential ballot in which 12 candidates were standing.

— BBC.

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