By Duncan Mlanjira
Mbakuwaku Movement for Development (MMD) president, Peter Kuwani, has filed a complaint to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), demanding that Peter Mutharika and Lazarus Chakwera should be disqualified for fielding different running mates in Tuesday’s fresh presidential polls.
Addressing the media on Wednesday, MEC chairperson Justice Chifundo Kachale said Kuwani’s ground of his demand for the disqualification is that in accordance with the judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal, the candidates ought to have maintained the candidate-runningmate formations.
Justice Kachale said MEC, which has set up a legal team comprising 10 lawyers from the Ministry of Justice to help it in summarising the complaints, will sit to determine Kuwani’s complaint.
“Apart from this complaint, the Commission received and has resolved all the complaints that have been lodged directly to the National Tally Centre,” Kachale said.
“In total the Commission has handled four complaints. Two lodged by or on behalf of MCP and two lodged by the DPP.
“All these complaints have been about allegations of violence, threats of violence and intimidation of party representatives.
“The Commission has relied on the security arrangements involving the Malawi Police and the Malawi Defence Force to resolve these complaints.
“The Commission would like to commend the joint efforts of the Malawi Defence Force and the Police in putting up a vibrant security scheme within which the polls have been managed.
“The professionalism of these two institutions should be applauded by everyone.”
Kachale reiterated that it is MEC’s sole mandate to declare a winner in an election and the nation should continue waiting until the pollster announces the official results.
“I appeal to stakeholders to exercise calm if they do not seem to see much activity at the main tally centre. On the same, I would want to emphasise that MEC is not transmitting results through any electronic system or network.
“Therefore, no one should wake up and raise allegations of hacking or infiltration of the results.
“At the same time the Commission is not in a position to estimate when the first results will be received at the National Tally Centre.
“Suffice to say that the Commission will be updating the nation when the first results have been received.”
Meanwhile, after casting his vote at Matimba Centre in Mchinji Central Constituency, Kuwani said he was confident that the elections will be free and fair only if it ends as it has started.
“This is not just an ordinary election, we are intended to restore peace and order in the country,” Kuwani told the media. “As you recall, we are coming from the disputed May 21, 2019 elections.
“There is smooth running of this year elections. I have travelled from Lilongwe but there is dead silence in our roads and this shows that people are in various polling stations to cast their vote,” Kuwani said.—Additional reporting by Andrew Ndhlovu, MANA