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Mangochi West parliamentary polls challenge returns

The case in which an independent shadow member of Parliament for Mangochi West Constituency Simeon Harrison is challenging results of the elections returned in court Monday.

During the hearing, Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) continued with their defence as the commission is being accused of declaring a wrong winner.

Mec lawyer Gift Chimowa paraded three witnesses including the first constituency returning officer Cliff Chigaga who was replaced by the commission after being accused of mismanagement of the elections and an assistant presiding officer at Makunula polling centre.

The third respondent Geoffrey Chiwondo, who Mec declared winner, was also cross examined by the petitioner’s lawyer Wester Kosamu.

In his testimony, Chigaga confirmed that he partially managed the elections saying the rest of the work was by another constituency returning officer after he was replaced.

“I only did [tallying for] 12 centres and I am not the one who announced the final winner of the elections in the constituency,” Chigaga told the court.

In his testimony, Chiwondo also confirmed that there was no official document from Mec supporting the declaration making him winner.

He also said he could not answer questions pertaining to his victory saying that could better be handled by Mec who made the declaration.

Kosamu said he was impressed with the direction the case was taking.

“Original documents duly signed by monitors are crucial in any elections case. Now the fact that the purported winner says he does not have any official document supporting his victory although he knew months ago that he would testify in this case tells it all,” he said.

Harrison is challenging election of Chowondo as winner in the parliamentary elections for Mangochi West Constituency in the May 21 tripartite elections.

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