World
Malawi vote count hits fresh hitch in court
Publish Date: May 30, 2014
Malawi vote count hits fresh hitch in court
A Malawian army soldier standing on guard while hundreds of residents from Ndirande township queued to vote last week. PHOTO/AFP
  • mail
  • img
newvision

BLANTYRE - Malawi's disputed presidential elections ran into fresh trouble Thursday after a judge due to rule on when the results should be released had to step down from the case.

The hitch means it is now unclear whether court challenges to the disputed vote will be considered before the Friday midnight deadline for releasing the results.

High court judge Healy Potani was scheduled to start hearing the case on Thursday and then rule on Friday whether Malawi's electoral commission could be granted a 30-day extension to hold a recount.

But Potani recused himself after his impartiality was challenged on the grounds that one of his brothers is a deputy chief elections officer at the electoral commission.

A replacement judge Kenyatta Nyirenda took over several hours later and immediately the hearing started.

But amid the delays and with the case thrown into confusion, the electoral commission indicated it might have to release the results on Friday without a recount.

By law, the commission is obliged to release the results within eight days of the vote.


The electoral commission has indicated it might have to release the results on Friday without a recount. PHOTO/AFP

Chief elections officer Willie Kalonga told AFP: "We still have until tomorrow to announce the results."

The Malawi Congress Party, whose presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera was running second in preliminary results released after about a third of the vote had been counted last week, had asked for a court order allowing for a recount.

But the Democratic Progressive Party led by Peter Mutharika, who was leading the vote in early results, wanted the court to prevent the 30-day extension.

Meanwhile, President Joyce Banda, who was shown to be running third, last week called the vote "null and void", saying it was marred by "serious irregularities", and called for fresh elections.

Modecai Msiska, a lawyer for the electoral commission, told AFP that despite the failure of the case to begin with, "as we stand now, the commission is within the statutory calendar to release the results by Friday".

Meanwhile, it would wait to see whether the court could grant an extension for a recount, he said.

AFP


Also related to this story

Chaotic Malawi election sparks legal battle

Malawi vote counting system collapses

President declares election 'null and void'

High court stops president from halting poll

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
French president warns Indonesia of
French President Francois Hollande warned Saturday that Indonesia faced diplomatic "consequences" if it pushes ahead with the planned execution of Frenchman Serge Atlaoui over drug trafficking offences....
South Africa suspends parliament to fight xenophobia
South Africa's parliament will be suspended next week to enable lawmakers to return to their constituencies to spread the anti-xenophobia message, in the wake of deadly attacks on African migrants....
Looming firing squad for foreign drug convicts
Families of foreign drug convicts set to be hauled before the firing squad in Indonesia issued desperate mercy pleas Saturday....
Togo votes for a new president
Togo votes for a new president on Saturday, with the incumbent Faure Gnassingbe seeking a third term in office to extend his family's grip on power....
Turkey hosts Gallipoli ceremonies 100 years on
Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan on Friday hosted leaders from the former Allied powers of World War I to pay tribute to the tens of thousands killed in the Battle of Gallipoli 100 years after one of the most wasteful yet emblematic campaigns of the conflict....
Major Greek bank to wipe debts of poorest clients
One of Greece's largest banks is to wipe away the debts of clients who owe up to 20,000 euros ($21,600) in a one-off gesture to ease the burden on its crisis-hit customers....
Do you support KCCA'S move to return city communter buses?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter