Winning candidate Peter Mutharika according to unofficial results has dismissed the decree by President Joyce Banda to nullify the elections as unconstitutional. Peter Mutharika who is a respected constitutional lawyer himself has said Joyce Banda has no mandate to nullify the election.
President Joyce Banda said at a news conference on Saturday that she is annulling the elections in which she was a candidate because of voting irregularities in spite the observations from The European Union, African union and the commonwealth stating that MEC conducted the elections in a transparent manner.
She said her decision was backed by the Constitution. Many respected legal minds in the country disagree with her. Ralph Kasambara who served as the AG in her own government disagrees with her on this.
Peter Mutharika has appealed to the president to ask people to be calm. I hope she abandons the path she is taking,” said Mutharika as a news conference.
Leading candidate Peter Mutharika said powers to manage the elections rests in the Malawi Electoral Commission and that Constitution gives the electoral body the independence.
Mutharika commended Justice Maxon Mbendera, the MEC Chairperson, saying he is “a man of great integrity” and that despite challenges “he is doing his best.
Attorney General Anthony Kamanga said he provided legal advice to the president on the path to take.
However until Electoral Commission (MEC), the only authority with the legal mandate to officially announce electoral outcomes in Malawi speaks in the name of Justice Mbendera this decree appears to have no teeth and will go nowhere.