News / Africa

Malawi Electoral Commission to Recount Votes Monday

Incumbent Malawian President Joyce Banda votes in her home district of Malemia May 20, 2014
Incumbent Malawian President Joyce Banda votes in her home district of Malemia May 20, 2014
Peter Clottey
Malawi’s electoral commission plans to begin a recount Monday of all votes cast in last week’s presidential, legislative and local elections after discovering voter irregularities in some parts of the country. 

Officials say the electoral body discovered there were more votes cast than the number of people officially registered. 

However, outgoing President Joyce Banda stirred controversy after issuing an order to stop the vote count and called for fresh elections to be held in 90 days, citing voter irregularities.

“In exercise of the powers conferred in section 88 (2) of the constitution, I hereby call for the nullification of all ongoing  processes in relation to the 2014 tripartite elections, including announcement and counting of the results to cease forthwith,” Mrs. Banda said.

But a High Court blocked the Banda effort to annul the vote, after officials of the electoral commission and some political parties challenged her order in court.

Speaking as a human rights lawyer, Justin Dzonzi, who is chairman of the Malawi Human Rights Consultative Committee, says Mrs. Banda’s order was unconstitutional.

Dzonzi says Malawians are displeased with the president’s pronouncement, which he says created tension among the population.

“It sparked a lot of outrage.  Outrage not only because it kind of exacerbated the anxiety that people have, but because it was also outright unconstitutional.  The president does not have such powers to nullify elections.  So it was met with a lot of outrage,” said Dzonzi.

Some analysts have been critical of the electoral commission’s conduct of the poll, which they said could undermine the credibility of the vote.

Dzonzi says the electoral commission did not meet expectations of the organization’s promise to administer a vote that would meet international standards.

“A lot of people are disappointed by the way the elections have been conducted.  The disappointment arises from the fact that this is the fifth time Malawi is holding democratic elections, and one would have thought we have established an institutional capacity to deliver elections without any glitches,” said Dzonzi.

“So what has happened this time around is actually a strange development given that we have a lot of experience in holding elections,” said Dzonzi. “Partly because of that the results themselves have also sparked a lot of suspicion in terms of their credibility, because some quarters begin to believe that the challenges we have experienced have been as a result of a deliberate action or series of actions aimed at rigging the elections.”

Some presidential candidates called for a recount of the votes after they also cited voter irregularities, prompting analysts to predict electoral disputes that could only be resolved in court. 

Dzonzi agreed, saying there could be a court challenge to the final outcome of the vote.  But he said the electoral body was right in its decision to recount the vote as part of its bid to ensure the credibility of the general election.

“Definitely, there would be some legal challenge as with the entire process, and I think that would stem from a number of angles; obviously the decision to go back to recount does not favor everybody.  So obviously, those who think they have won the election would generally have the right to challenge the entire process,” said Dzonzi.
Clottey interview with Justin Dzonzi, Malawi Human Rights Lawyer
Clottey interview with Justin Dzonzi, Malawi Human Rights Lawyeri
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: KAYANGE from: MEC
May 27, 2014 6:19 AM
we beg all candidates to be one opinion as malawians who vote.

In Response

by: Andrex from: Malawi
May 28, 2014 2:33 AM
MEC Should just disqualify the suspected presidential candidate who is involved in Riging, I don't support the recounting issue.


by: Anonymous
May 25, 2014 3:32 PM
Democracy is not doing well in Africa.Time,energy,resources wasted to please the greedy few.Wake up something is fishy in the entire election exercise.The recount may yield unwelcome results to the voters.Malawi belongs to all who live in it. Not a kingdom or chieftainship.Des erving candidates will show their noses on the day of announcement of results.Dont impose your suitability on the peo ple.Cleverness is not the same as wisdo m. Avoid selfish men and women who wish to ascend to the first office by tric ks.Be a leader.

In Response

by: Leonard Cox from: USA
May 26, 2014 7:47 PM
Democracy is NOT doing well in the United Sates of America or anywhere else in the world! Would you rather Malawi suffer from the crime, drugs, pedophilia, mass murder, etc. that most democratic societies eventually fall victim to by following Satan?


by: max ajida from: pretoria ,South Africa
May 25, 2014 3:30 PM
Congratulations to the electeral commission to do a recount. Malawians are good people. They're popularilly called the warm heart of Africa because of kindness and respect among themselves. This vote recount is a very good example to the whole world that if there is doubt on the minds people hold fresh elections or recount without using the barrel of the gun to settle disputes.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid