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Peter Mutharika faulted on rigging claims

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By Jameson Chauluka:

Electoral stakeholders have faulted President Peter Mutharika, who is also Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate, over claims he made that some political parties are planning to rig the May 21 Tripartite Elections.

Malawi Electoral Commissions Chairperson for Audit Committee, Mary Nkosi, said the commission has not received any official complaint from the DPP over the rigging fears.

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Nkosi assured Malawians that the elections would be free and fair as no one would rig.

“We cannot act unless we get information with evidence from the concerned parties. We have not received any complaint and, as far as we are concerned, the elections are safe,” Nkosi said.

Mutharika made the claims when he addressed supporters during whistle stop rallies he had on Monday.

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“Someone wants to rig the May 21 elections. He has bought foreigners and a machine. The people are coming from Nigeria, Russia, Greece to rig the elections. We know where the machine, which they use to offset our communication to rig the elections, is. But I should warn you that I know you, I will go after you,” he said.

But UTM spokesperson, Joseph Chidanti-Malunga, said no Malawian should take Mutharika seriously saying he has not brought any evidence of his claims.

“What we know in UTM is that DPP is losing and they are using every tactic to play with the minds of Malawians. He is the President; so, why should he be complaining that someone wants to rig [elections]. Why not just act?” he wondered.

MCP secretary general, Eisenhower Mkaka, said they were not afraid of Mutharika’s claims, saying they were ready to protect every vote in the elections.

“You will notice that it is these two who were together in 2014 who are talking about rigging. They know what they did in 2014 and it is just a matter of two being suspicious of each other. We are ready to protect every vote and Malawians should come out and vote. Nobody will steal their votes,” he said.

Chancellor College political expert, Mustapha Hussein, said Malawians it should take Mutharika’s claims seriously, saying it is clear that he was just speaking as part of his campaign strategy.

“He is the one in power and has access to all the law enforcement agents. He would have been believable if he had the machine with him when he made the claims,” he said.

DPP spokesperson Nicholas Dausi’s phone was not reached on several attempts.

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