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26.05.2019 00:05 News >> Malawi Presidential Election Results Withheld

Malawi Presidential Election Results Withheld

Court orders electoral body to recount votes in 10 districts.

The highly anticipated presidential results in Malawi's hotly contested election have been withheld after the High Court ordered Saturday that votes in 10 of the country's 28 districts to be recounted.

Opposition candidate, Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) went to court after noticing what he claimed were irregularities in results from 10 districts.

Another contender in the election, Saulos Chilima, the current vice-president, is also disputing the results that currently show incumbent president Peter Mutharika in the lead with over 40 percent of the votes counted.

The High Court in Malawi's capital Lilongwe has since ordered that "the announcement of final presidential results is stayed until the results ... are verified through a transparent recounting of the ballot papers in the presence of representatives of political parties which contested the elections."

The presidential election results were expected on Friday, but the Electoral Commission suspended updating the tallies from the May 21 vote in order to resolve 147 complaints raised by some of the parties.

"MCP has noticed serious anomalies with the election results that's why we went to court. We want these anomalies corrected before any presidential result is announced," Eisenhower Mkaka, the party's spokesperson told Anadolu Agency.

The law requires that final results are announced within eight days of voting.

The Commission chairperson Jane Ansah has since announced parliamentary results, which she said are not affected by the court order.

"The Commission has been served with an injunction restraining us from proceeding with announcement of presidential results. The Commission will wait for this process to be concluded before announcing the results, so today we are announcing the parliamentary results," she told the media at the main tally center in Blantyre.

Malawians went to the polls on Tuesday to elect 193 members of parliament, 462 local government councilors and the president.

Mutharika is facing stiff opposition from his main rival is former church pastor, Chakwera. He defeated then-incumbent president and Africa's second woman leader Joyce Banda in 2014. Banda, who pulled out of the presidential race, is backing Chakwera.

According to the Electoral Commission, out of the 6.5 million people that registered to vote in a country of nearly 20 million, 5.1 million voted in Tuesday's elections. -



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