The High Court in Blantyre has rejected an application for a vote recount made by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate for Zomba Central Constituency in the May 20 parliamentary elections, saying it lacks merit.
DPP’s Yunus Mussa, who lost to Patricia Nangozo Kainga of People’s Party (PP), petitioned the court in August to order for a recount of votes in either all or disputed centres in the constituency.
In his petition, Mussa said he was seeking for recount of results from at least 10 centres, arguing that his monitors were either refused permission to witness the vote count or to be given the result sheets to sign.
But in its judgement delivered by Justice John Chirwa on Friday, the court said much as it found that there was some irregularity at Sacred Heart School Polling Station, it is, however, not inclined to order a recount at that polling station.
Chirwa said this is because it would be of no consequence whatsoever considering that the average is only by two votes which even if subtracted from Kainga’s votes would not change her position and Mussa has not made out any case necessitating a recount of the votes at any other centres in the constituency.
The court added that Mussa has also not proved that his monitors were barred from witnessing the vote count or that there were irregularities in the conduct of the polling at any of the polling stations in the constituency.
“…and that even if there had been any irregularities, which apparently has not been substantiated with any evidence, the petitioner [Mussa] has not proved how such irregularities would have affected the results of the elections in the said constituency,” reads the judgement in part.
The court, having found the petition without merit, has said Mussa will thus bear the costs of both the first and second respondents, Kainga and Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) respectively and to be taxed, if not agreed upon by the parties.
Official results in Zomba Central show that Kainga got 11 861 votes representing 31.68 percent of votes cast while Mussa, who came second, got 11 017 votes representing 29.38 percent, a difference of 744 votes.