Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika on Wednesday appealed a court decision nullifying his victory in the 2019 election, a spokesman said.
Citing irregularities, the Constitutional Court had earlier nullified the presidential poll election that was conducted in May, which saw Mutharika re-elected for a five-year term with 38.6 per cent of the vote.
The ruling was the first of its kind in the country’s 25 years of democracy.
Lazarus Chakwera, who trailed Mutharika with 35.4 per cent, disputed the result, citing irregularities that include, the use of correction fluid to change results and 1,000 allegedly duplicated votes.
Presidential Press Secretary, Mgeme Kalilani, said Mutharika would now turn to the Supreme Court of Appeal, the country’s highest court.
Kalilani did not give further details, but described the ruling as a serious miscarriage of justice.
Meanwhile, an opponent who contested the election results alongside Chakwera, Saulos Chilima, said, “Our legal team stands ready to present our case in court as we did in the initial case.”
The Constitutional Court had also ordered new elections to take place within 150 days.
Edge Kanyongolo, a constitutional law expert at the University of Malawi, however, said Mutharika’s appeal would not stop the new round of voting unless another court rules otherwise.
“An appeal does not automatically stop or nullify the effect of the previous judgement,“Kanyongolo said.