Malawi will never have credible poll if courts are permitted to intervene, says Mutharika
Rustenburg – Malawi will never have a credible election if courts are allowed to intervene and nullify the results, President Peter Mutharika said on Friday.
"With the decision which the court has made on the issue of irregularities, we will never, never have a valid and credible election in this country because there will always be some irregularities in any election. We have set a precedent by which the next election will be even more disputable," he said.
He was delivering his State of the Nation address through an audio recording.
"From today, anyone can now rush to court and demand nullification of an election because an officer corrected an error even if that correction does not affect the result of the election. Is that the Malawi we want?” he asked.
He said he wanted Malawi to be a country where everyone must be accountable.
"Nobody should be above the law and nobody should be above criticism. The essence of democracy is that everyone must be accountable to someone else. Only God is accountable to no one.
"The president and the executive are always held accountable every day by this house and the people. Parliament is held accountable. But who holds the judiciary accountable?"
The Supreme Court of Appeal upheld the Constitutional Court’s decision to nullify the 2019 presidential elections and order fresh elections.
The court found that there were irregularities, such as the use of Tippex (correction fluid) and alteration of result sheets. But Mutharika said the court had failed prove that such irregularities affected the result of the election.
"In as far as the result of an election is intact, then the will of the people prevails. We cannot, and we should never, nullify an election if any irregularities do not affect the results of the election. Nullifying an election is nullifying the will of the people."
The fresh elections are expected to be held on June 23.
African News Agency (ANA)