Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika lambastes ‘death of democracy’

Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika has accused the country’s Constitutional Court of attacking democracy. The top court annulled the result of last May’s election in which Mr Mutharika was narrowly won re-election.

Judges said there had been vote-tampering and correction fluid was used to alter the results.

The Report Focus’s Mickel longie in the capital, Lilongwe, says it is clear that Mr Mutharika is not going to lose the presidency without a fight.

“As the first respondent in the May 21 Elections case, I have taken note of the judgement delivered by the High Court sitting as a Constitutional Court. Like many Malawians, my legal team and I have serious reservations with the judgment,” said Mutharika said on Wednesday evening.

He stressed it only related to procedural issues and not vote rigging.

But the president also sought to recover ground from his opponents, who have claimed the judgement as a triumph of democracy.

Mr Mutharika thanked opposition leaders for bringing their grievance to court, underlining that only a democratic state would allow such a move.

But he attacked the decision by the judges as the beginning of the “death of Malawi’s democracy”.

Unsurprisingly the opposition disagrees. They have been celebrating Monday’s ruling as a new dawn for the country’s democracy.

But Wednesday night’s address and the upcoming appeal may have dampened that mood.

The international community has urged calm.

“We call upon all Malawians to respect the decision of the court and to adhere to the path outlined in Malawi’s constitution and electoral laws, including on the right to appeal,” said Tibor Nagy, the top US diplomat for Africa.

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