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Malawi could bring forward vote re-run by a week

FILE PHOTO: Constitutional Court overturned the results of last year election, which handed President Peter Mutharika a second term in office

BlantyreMalawi | AFP | Malawi’s presidential election re-run could be brought forward by a week to comply with a court order that a new leader be declared within 150 days of a ruling that quashed last year’s polls, the electoral commission has said.

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) had set July 2 for a new round of voting after the Constitutional Court overturned the results of last year election, which handed President Peter Mutharika a second term in office.

It ordered fresh elections within 150 days of its February 3 ruling.

The Supreme Court last week rejected President Peter Mutharika’s bid to overturn the earlier ruling.

MEC chairwoman Jane Ansah has now proposed June 23 and asked parliament to endorse the date.

“This will enable (the) MEC to have more time to process the results before the end of 150 days ordered by the court,” she said at a national elections consultative meeting in southern Mangochi district on Tuesday.

Mutharika garnered just 38.5 percent of the annulled May 21 vote to win a second term but the Constitutional Court nullified the result, citing “grave” and “widespread” irregularities, including the use of correction fluid on ballot papers.

President Mutharika will face off against leading opposition politician Lazarus Chakwera.

The third hopeful is little-known Peter Kuwani of the Mbakuwaku Movement for Development.

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