A legal battle against the outcome of the presidential race in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections has seen President Peter Mutharika being dragged into the case after the Constitutional Court has included him as the first respondent.
Registrar of the High Court of Malawi and Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, Agness Patemba, confirmed Mutharika has been made “party to the proceedings” according to the law requirements.
Mutharika is the first respondent to the petition with Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) as the second respondent, according to court documents of the consolidated elections case number 16 and 26 of 2019 dated June 11 as seen by Nyasa Times.
The development comes as a renowned political analyst urged Mutharika to join the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM to fight the outcome of the May 21 elections in court.
George Phiri of University of Livingstonia said this after Mutharika told a rally in Blantyre on Sunday some of his votes were stolen in the central region.
Mutharika said the state security agencies would investigate the matter.
But Phiri said instead of him defending the outcome of the poll results in the court, the President can also join the forces that are challenging the outcome of the results in the Constitutional court.
“If every presidential candidate, even the Malawi Electoral Commission declared winner is complaining of the results, then the only thing MEC can do is declare the results null and void and order for a re-run,” said Phiri.
He said the election cannot be declared if all the contestants, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the MCP and UTM are all complaining that the vote outcome was manipulated.
According to court documents, Saulos Chilima – the country’s immediate past vice president who vied for the presidency on UTM Party ticket – and Lazarus Chakwera of MCP are first and second petitioners respectively.
Mutharika was declared winner with 38.57 percent of the vote, and Chakwera was close on his heels, with 35.41 percent.
Chilima came in third, with 20.24 percent of the votes.
The opposition claim the results were not a “genuine reflection of the will of the people of Malawi” and complained that figures on many vote count sheets were altered using correction fluid.