Malawi President Joyce Banda Calls For Vote Recount Amid Rigging Claims

D.L. Chandler May 22, 2014

Joyce BandaTensions are high in Malawi, after the African nation’s elections on Tuesday were nearly upended by violence and corruption allegations. President Joyce Banda (pictured) has since demanded a recount of the vote, stating that there is possible foul play regarding tallied votes.

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President Banda made her announcement on Thursday, saying, “It has come to my attention that there (are) some serious irregularities in the counting and announcement of results in some parts of the country.” Her announcement comes on the heels of Deputy Local Government Minister Godfrey Kamanya’s suicide. A spokesman shot down rumors that Kamanya killed himself because he lost a seat in the nation’s parliament.

In addition, President Banda released details from Minister Kamanya’s suicide note, which reportedly detailed that he was afraid that he would be killed by Banda’s predecessor’s party, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), soldiers.

With riots breaking out at polling places, the military had to be called to quell the skirmishes. This election was seen to be the strongest opposition to President Banda’s rule since she took office after Bingu wa Mutharika‘s death two years ago. Peter Mutharika, the previous president’s brother, has been one of President Banda’s chief opponents and was allowed to run among the other 12 candidates despite facing a trial for treason.

Even though President Banda alleged that an unnamed political party was responsible for rigging the Malawi Electoral Commission‘s (MEC) counting system around the country, she still asked for peace, “I appeal to all Malawians to continue with their commitment to peaceful co-existence and to remain calm until the Malawi Electoral Commission determines the outcome of the poll results.”

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