Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has stopped meetings between its staff and lawyers and election presiding officers to collect information.
In an interview on Wednesday, MEC spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa said the electoral body’s lawyers and staff were meeting presiding officers to prepare for affidavits for the on-going court case.
He dismissed reports that some presiding officers were requested, forced or induced with money to sign a new election results sheet or form as alleged by the MCP.
“Due to the unconducive atmosphere that has been characterised with animosity and violent behaviour towards our staff and lawyers, the commission has decided to halt this exercise. We are no longer going to the councils to collect any affidavits or witness statements for our case.
“Our lawyers will be deciding the way forward and the nation will be informed. But I should state it clear that it has been an unfortunate event that those that are pursuing justice have been in the forefront disturbing the very same process of justice,” said Mwafulirwa.
During the exercise, MEC officials met hostility in other parts of the country, which the electoral body says threatened their lives.
In reaction to the exercise, MCP publicity secretary the Reverend Maurice Munthali issued a statement on July 13 2019, questioning MEC’s and called on the general public to be vigilant.
UTM leader Saulos Chilima and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera filed petitions in court seeking nullification of the results over alleged irregularities in the presidential race. The constitutional court is set to start hearing the case on July 29.
MEC declared President Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) the winner of the presidential race in the May 21 Tripartite Elections with 1 940 709 votes or 38.57 percent.
He was trailed by Chakwera with 1 781 740 votes (35.41 percent) while Chilima came third with 1 018 369 votes or 20.24 percent.
Chilima and Chakwera since filed petitions in court seeking nullification of the results over alleged irregularities. The Constitutional Court is set to start hearing the case on July 29.