Mutharika describes fresh election as the worst

Peter Mutharika

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate during the June 23 Fresh Presidential Election (FPE), Peter Mutharika has described the poll as the worst in the history of elections in the country.

Mutharika who is trailing Malawi Congress Party's (MCP) Lazarus Chakwera with 65 percent of the votes cast counted, complemented DPP's administrative secretary Francis Mphepo's letter to the Electoral Commission that the election was marred with great irregularities.

In an address to the nation on Saturday at Sanjika Palace, he cited several cases where DPP monitors were denied access to the results in most polling centres in Lilongwe and Nkhotakota.

Mutharika said 15 monitors are reportedly missing after being abducted by alleged MCP and UTM thugs; some were hacked and are nursing injuries, while one is reported dead.

"Malawians were given a chance to elect president on 23 June because the Courts nullified the May 21 election citing irregularities, but this is the worst election in the history of this country because of these irregularities. Our party lodged a complaint to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and we hope they will be addressed," he said.

He further said the courts did not find evidence that he rigged the elections, but he accepted the call for fresh poll because he respects the rule of law.

Mutharika who was with his running mate, Atupele Muluzi has called on DPP members to remain calm as they wait for results.

"I urge Malawians to mantain peace and even after the results have been announced. Let us celebrate reasonably," he said.

MEC is still reviewing results from the districts to determine the winner.

Within the week, MEC chairperson, Justice Chifundo Kachale confirmed getting a complaint from DPP on the attacks on the party's, but said the matter had been referred to Malawi Police Service (MPS) because they are criminal cases and the Commission has no capacity to investigate them.

The FPE ballot paper had three candidates, including Mutharika, Chakwera and Peter Kuwani of Mbakuwaku Movement for Democracy (MMD).

Kuwani has already conceded defeat.