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Court orders Mec on documents

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By Audrey Kapalamula:

Chilima

The Constitutional Court in Lilongwe has ordered Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) to preserve all presidential election materials.

The court issued the order Monday in a constitutional case in which Malawi Congress Party leader Lazarus Chakwera and UTM president, Saulos Chilima, are contesting May 21 election results.

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According to the court order delivered Monday, the materials which the court wants Mec to preserve include results sheets for the presidential election for all the 5,002 polling centres, constituency tally centres, aggregate results and hard copies as well as electronic data and documents uploaded from Mec website.

“All the routine destruction or discarding of any such documents or data whether pursuant to formal policies of the Mec or otherwise shall be suspended until final determination of the matter or further order of the court,” the order reads.

The order follows hearing of an application for preservation that second petitioner Chakwera made on June 14 2019 with an argument that some of the documents were being removed from Mec website.

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On the same day, Chakwera also made an application demanding disclosure of the documents for comparison and the court is expected to provide its direction on the matter Wednesday.

Recently, MCP also made more demands including an audit report by a firm that was hired to certify the tripartite elections, identities of clerks and their bank accounts to ascertain if they were financially influenced to manipulate the elections.

High Court judges– Healey Potani, Mike Tembo, Dingiswayo Madise, Ivy Kamanga and Redson Kapindu— are presiding over the case.

Chakwera and Chilima are seeking court determination to nullify the electoral results, arguing that the process was marred by irregularities.

Mec declared Mutharika the winner of the presidential election with 1,940,709 while Chakwera got 1,781,740 and Chilima was third with 1,018,369 votes.

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