Move to annul polls illegal, Joyce Banda told

2014-05-24 22:34
Malawi President Joyce Banda. (File, AFP)

Malawi President Joyce Banda. (File, AFP)

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Blantyre - Malawi's opposition leader Peter Mutharika said on Saturday that a move by President Joyce Banda to annul this week's election over claims of irregularities was "illegal".

"Nothing in the constitution gives the president powers to cancel an election," said Mutharika, who partial results showed was well ahead of Banda in the polls. "This is clearly illegal, unconstitutional and not acceptable."

Banda on Saturday declared the chaotic 20 May election "null and void" and called for a fresh vote in which she said she would not stand to "give Malawians a free and fair" choice.

The president alleged people had voted multiple times and ballots had been tampered with, while her supporters alleged Mutharika may be behind the irregularities.

Mutharika rejected the charge, telling reporters the "people have spoken and this was a free and credible election."

"Allegations of rigging are not founded. I have never heard anywhere in the world where an opposition can rig an election," he said.

"I hope the president abandons the path she has taken," Mutharika said. "As citizens we should not take this country on the path of destruction and everyone should remain calm until results are announced."

"Whoever has won should take over the government and start the process of rebuilding the country."

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