Malawi court blocks Banda election annulment

LILONGWE - Malawi's High Court has rejected a decision by President Joyce Banda to annul this week's general election - in which she was a candidate.

Ms Banda had earlier said Tuesday's vote had been marred by rigging, multiple voting and computer-hacking.

She said a new vote should be held within 90 days but she would not stand again in any new poll.

However, the head of the electoral commission said the president did not have the power to annul the vote.

The High Court made its ruling after the commission said that despite problems involving the electronic count the poll remained valid and vote-counting would go on.

Malawi's election was chaotic, with one BBC correspondent reporting people voting two days on from election day because of delays in distributing polling material.

Frustrated voters set one polling station alight and smashed election material at another.

In some places, voting boxes or lids did not arrive so officials used buckets and plastic wrap.

Late on Friday, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) said Joyce Banda's rival candidate Peter Mutharika had taken a lead of 42%, with 30% of votes counted. Ms Banda was in second place with 23%, the commission said.

Comments (3)

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GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 25 May 2014

When the opposition was making noise about the likelihood of the vote being rigged Mai Banda refused to listen as she claimed the elections would be free and fair. Ko zvekuRIGGER zvazobva kupi zvakre. Amai, makapembedza n'anga neinobata mai!!!

Nesongano - 26 May 2014

What does their constitution say about the elections? Ms Banda is also an contestant in an election and I supposed that she ceases to be president when parliament and the executive are dissolved before the elections. Why does she think she still has powers to annul an election in which she is also a contestant? Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I think we should strive to have an election commission like the one in Malawi which is independent in the sense of the word.

tomasi ndofeni tohwi - 27 May 2014

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