LILONGWE(MaraviPost): Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale on Wednesday could not hide his outright disdain at the refusal of Saulos Chilima and Lazarus Chakwera to accepting defeat and not put the country through the Election court case. He trashed Lazarus Chakwera and Saulos Chilima’s election petition, describing it as a “Barren Thunder”.

Here is a summary of his Opening Statement:

1. MEC was transparent throughout the electoral process including allowing political party representatives to see the contract signed between MEC and the printer of election materials.

2. MEC did not compromise any candidate’s right to be elected. At the same time, MEC did not disrespect the will of most voters to elect the candidate of their choice.

3. At any given moment when confronted with an issue during the administration of 2019 elections, MEC had to decide and ensure that no candidate valid vote was compromised.

4. MEC never cheated with the results. It never played with the results. It

never misconstrued with the results. In the whole, this case is just a litigation of an opinion.

5. The petitioners have described the overages that were printed on Form 60 as fake just to try save the theory of their case but as things have emerged, there was no fraud

6. The results that are with the monitors of political parties are the same which MEC has. If they had contrary results, they would have bought them to court. None of their monitors has brought to the court any contrary result.

7. MEC wrote MCP and UTM on 25 May whether they had results that conflicted with the results MEC had. We are getting into December and no result contrary to MEC’s result has been presented to the court. For people who believe they were cheated and had monitors on the ground, they would have presented a contrary result to the court.

8. The petitioners submitted their petition on a flawed theory and have failed to provide evidence to justify their theory.

Chilima and Mia meet Malawi court

9. Presiding officers have explained about the duplicates. And the question is “Was any valid votes compromised?” And MEC story is “None was”. The same with tippex; the same with non-standard forms.

10. MEC has an excess of 700 witnesses, most of whom are from the polling centres. They were ready to attest to the correctness of candidates’ valid votes on tally sheets and explain any observed or alleged irregularity. The petitioners have chosen to examine none of those witnesses.

11. MEC will therefore parade 3 witnesses: Chief Elections Officer, Director of Electoral Services and Director of ICT. They are going to say, “Nothing wrong happened. Nobody cheated”.

12. They failed to bring any material witness, “a witness whose evidence is likely to be sufficiently important to influence the outcome of a case.”

13. This court can only disturb the declared result and voters’ choice on valid grounds when enough proof has been tendered. So far, no such proof has been tendered.

14. Sadly, this case is what can be described as “Brutum Fulmen.” — Barren Thunder. It is a multiplicity of thunder without any rain drops.

15. By the end of the day, the petitioner's case will be exposed for what it is: an attempt by people who may have failed to get majority of votes trying to throw sand in the dish....but that is against voters rights, and voters' rights is what MEC and this court are duty bound to uphold.
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