I’m ready to step down, says Joyce Banda

2014-05-30 09:03
Malawi President Joyce Banda. (File, AFP)

Malawi President Joyce Banda. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Lilongwe - Malawian President Joyce Banda said on Thursday she is ready to step down if the High Court ratifies a disputed election last week and her opponent ends up as the winner, even though she still believes the vote was fraudulent.

The High Court is due to decide on Friday whether the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) should announce the result of the 20 May vote, which Banda's opponent is likely to have won, or if it should recount ballots, a process that could take two months.

The decision could raise the risk of post-election violence in the impoverished southern African country after the most hotly contested vote since the end of the one-party state two decades ago.

"I have told the MEC and related stakeholders that I will accept their decision, and the decision of the courts," Banda told Reuters in an interview in the Malawian capital Lilongwe.

"I will rest knowing that I tried to defend the rights of Malawians in a critical moment to ensure they have a leader elected in a fair and credible manner," she added.

The election was plagued by problems, with voting materials turning up hours late and ballot papers sent to the wrong end of the country. The MEC had to extend voting in some urban areas into a second day and initial counting was held up by a lack of electricity at polling stations.

Four days after the election, the MEC said a count of 30% of the votes cast showed that the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), headed by Peter Mutharika, brother of the late President Bingu wa Mutharika, was in the lead with 42% of the vote.

Banda, southern Africa's first female head of state, followed with 23%. The MEC has finished counting but has not announced the result. Local media reports suggest Mutharika would comfortably win if there is no recount.

After consulting two opposition parties and the Attorney General, Banda ordered the cancellation of the election, citing fraud and "rampant irregularities". She ordered a new election within 90 days but said she would not be a candidate to guarantee credibility.

Recount

The High Court overruled her decision after the DPP complained and now the court will decide whether the election result should be announced or order a recount.

The MEC has acknowledged irregularities in the vote and said last week it wants a recount.

"When I announced that the election was fraudulent, no one believed me. But today I feel vindicated that my critics and MEC have seen what I saw and are now fighting in court for a recount or re-run," Banda told Reuters.

"My role now is to see to it that the will of the people is respected in a free, fair, transparent and credible election that is why I have announced that I will not participate in the event that there is a re-run," Banda said.

Banda enjoyed huge goodwill when she came to power two years ago, after the death of president Mutharika, but her popularity waned after she was forced to impose austerity measures including a sharp devaluation, to stabilise the economy.

Her administration was hit by a $15m corruption scandal, dubbed 'Cashgate', after large amounts of cash were discovered to have stolen by a racket involving senior public officers, businessmen and banks.

Banda, who said that she would retire from politics and concentrate on her charity work, said that she now has confidence in MEC.

"Even the MEC itself has now admitted that there are enough anomalies to warrant an individual ballot recount, and others have supported this request ... this was all I ever wanted in the first place," she said.

Read more on:    joyce banda  |  peter mutharika  |  malawi  |  southern africa  |  malawi elections 2014
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Saturday Cape Town - 12:40 PM
    Road name: M5 Southbound
    ACCIDENT at Kromboom Road
  • Friday Cape Town - 16:15 PM
    Road name: Wet Weather
    RAIN across the greater Cape Town area - drive with care and use headlights - Allow Extra Tavel Time
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2790.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The day may have a fluctuating sensitive energy to begin with, but later when the Moon moves into dramatic and creative Leo you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.