The results of Malawi’s controversial presidential elections could be announced on Friday if the courts rule out a recount, the country’s electoral commission said Wednesday. The outcome of the election was thrown into chaos last week when President Joyce Banda called the vote “null and void”, saying it was marred by “serious irregularities”. In some places the number of votes cast is reportedly greater than the number of voters. Court orders and injunctions have flown back and forth ever since, as supporters of Banda’s main rival Peter Mutharika urged the release of results as partial counts showed Banda to be a clear loser.
A high court on Thursday is expected to rule on whether the Malawi Electoral Commission should be allowed to conduct a recount of the ballots.
“The commission is preparing to announce its determination of the results of these elections on Friday 30 May, or as the court may direct,” said Maxon Mbendera, the chairman of the commission. He told a news conference that an initial count of all the ballots had been completed.
The commission had asked for a 30-day delay in releasing the results to enable it to carry out a recount after allegations of rigging, but Mbendera said the electoral body would take its cue from the court’s decision.