Blantyre - European Union observers on Wednesday said there was no evidence of “massive” rigging in Malawi's disputed election despite accusations of fraud by ousted president Joyce Banda.

EU chief observer Veronique De Keyser told reporters nearly a month after the vote that her team had found no evidence of mass irregularities that could change the result.

“No substantiated evidence of systematic rigging was presented to or revealed by the EU observer mission,” she said.

The credibility of the vote held from May 20 and extended by two days was thrown into question after anomalies were reported at various polling stations, including more votes cast than the number of registered voters.

The troubles spilled into the courts where leaders including Banda sought a ballot recount, which was later rejected.

After a delay in announcing the result, the leader of the Democratic Progressive Party Peter Mutharika was declared the winner.

Keyser said organisational mismanagement, significant logistical shortcomings and failure to transmit results electronically gave rise to “significant concerns” about the integrity and authenticity of the results.

The shambolic vote, which was followed by rioting in parts of the country, was also declared largely transparent by the African Union.

Sapa-AFP