Was Malawi’s annulled elections a judicial coup d’tat?

Something significant happened on the African Continent in 2020. In only the second time in the recent history of democratic governance in Africa, Judges overturned a presidential election.

On 3 February 2020 a panel of five High court Judges in Malawi, sitting as a constitutional court, ordered a re-run of an election won by the incumbent President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika. Two losing candidates, Dr Lazarus Mccarthy Chakwera and Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima had filed a petition challenging the results. The matter goes to the Supreme court, the final arbiter, on 24 April 2020.

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Pusch Commey , IOL
ATTRIBUTION: AUTHOR-Luke Tyburski, SOURCE – FP Foreign Policy

Malawi’s Election Was Not Stolen With White-Out

A disputed presidential poll in the small southern African country has led to upheaval. International observers must release key data rather than staying silent if they want to promote stability and trust in the electoral process.

Malawi is approaching six months of post-election upheaval, triggered by allegations of fraud in the country’s presidential race. The alleged smoking gun was the use of Tipp-Ex—or white-out—to change vote counts on the official results sheets.

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ATTRIBUTION: AUTHOR-Luke Tyburski, SOURCE – Atlantic council

Demystifying Malawi’s ‘Tipp-Ex election’

The use of white-out on results sheets in Malawi’s May election has brought international media attention to the small southern African country, leading some to dub the polls Malawi’s ‘Tipp-Ex election’ after the popular white-out brand.

The opposition claims the entire election should be annulled, and their case has reached the high court, with a final decision due later in August. Claims of irregularities in African elections are all too familiar, but there is often a lack of data precluding substantive analysis. This is where Malawi is different. The country’s election commission has published the official results sheets from each polling station online, with every cross out and use of white-out available for all to see. This provides a unique opportunity to go straight to the source, reporting beyond the competing statements of the opposition and election commission.

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LUKE TYBURSKI , Atlantic Council
ATTRIBUTION: AUTHOR-David Phiri, SOURCE – New african Magazine

If Malawi’s President Mutharika is a dictator, he has done a poor job of it

David Phiri defends Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika against accusations that he is undemocratic.

Let us assume that a dictator is as a dictator does; and from there, let us interrogate the increasingly generalised portrayal of Malawi’s president as a dictator whose administration is an authoritarian regime. It was unremarkable that President Arthur Mutharika stoically accepted the Supreme Court’s 08 May ruling, which upheld the Constitutional Court’s nullification of the May 2019 Presidential election. No one in Malawi, not even his most vicious critics, expected him to react in any other way because Mutharika has been consistent and unflappable in deferring to the courts, respecting the rule of law and abiding by the Constitution. If he is a dictator, then he is indeed a very poor specimen.

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David Phiri , New African Magazine


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