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Second election nullification in Mangochi

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By Isaac Salima:

The High Court in Blantyre yesterday nullified results of 2019 parliamentary election for Mangochi North East in which Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) declared United Democratic Front’s Idi Kalosi as the winner.

This is a second nullification for the parliamentary election in Mangochi District since the May 2019 parliamentary elections after in December last year, the court also found that Democratic Progressive Party’s Geoffrey Chiondo was not duly elected to represent the lakeshore district’s West Constituency.

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Independent candidate Martin Sekati, who came second during the parliamentary election, dragged Mec to court, arguing that the poll was married by irregularities.

Sekati pointed out that the voters’ roll was tampered with; that Mec was taking evidence from monitors instead of the presiding officers and that some of the results sheets were not signed for.

Judge Joseph Chigona ordered the nullification of the election and a rerun after agreeing with issues that were brought before the court by the petitioner that Mec failed to conduct the election in a free, fair and credible manner.

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In his reaction, Kalosi said he had accepted the court’s decision.

“I am not bitter or worried with the judgement because I know that I will win again in the rerun. I will go back on the ground and claim another victory,” Kalosi said.

Lawyer representing Sekati, Chimwemwe Kalua, said he was happy that justice had prevailed.

“We presented before court enough evidence and we are pleased that the court has listened to what we brought before it,” Kalua said.

On February 3, a panel of five High Court judges, that heard the presidential election petition case as a constitutional referral, nullified the 2019 presidential poll on the basis of widespread and systematic irregularities, among other things.

The court then ordered that a fresh election should be held within 150 days from the day of its judgement which was later upheld by the Supreme Court after Mec and President Peter Mutharika had appealed against the lower court’s judgement.

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