One of the institution’s associate research professor, Maxton Tsoka, was reacting to the constitutional court verdict on the presidential elections case which is in agreement with their AFRO Barometer findings.
The research institution in its AFRO Barometer report found that majority of Malawians were not satisfied with the outcome of presidential elections results on May 21 and faulted the electoral system.
Findings from the Afro Barometer survey which was conducted between November and December last year provides insights into how Malawians perceived the outcome of the May 21 presidential elections.
At least 79 percent of Malawians, according to the report, were aware of the presidential poll petition in court moved by UTM’s Dr. Saulos Chilima and Malawi Congress part president Dr. Lazarus Chakwera.
“As of late 2019, eight out of 10 Malawians (79%) were aware of the court case challenging the validity of the 2019 presidential election results and among these citizens, more than two-thirds (68%) believed the opposition parties were justified in filing the case,” reads part of the finding.
The respondents in the survey further emphasized that they knew the two petitioners were justified in filling a legal challenge against the authenticity of the results that Malawi electoral Commission used to declare President Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive party as winner of the May 2019 presidential race.
The report further reveals that 68 percent of Malawians regarded the courts as impartial and trustworthy with 76 percent holding the view that president of the country must always obey the laws and respect the courts.
Nonetheless, the survey revealed Malawians shared different opinion on whether a looser in an election should always have the right to challenge results in court.
Centre for Social Research Associate Research Professor Maxton Tsoka has implored on political leaders to start paying attention to views of majority Malawians on matters that concern their social and political needs.
“We conducted this survey soon after the issue went to court and we wanted to get views of Malawians on the presidential elections outcome and their feelings on the move by UTM leader and MCP president Dr. Lazarus Chakwera to challenge Malawi Electoral Commission’s decision to declare DPP candidate President Peter Mutharika winner of the elections,” he said.
He explains, “We are very happy that our findings are in agreement with the determination of the constitutional court on the presidential elections case on Monday February 3, 2019. Our message is that leaders should start paying attention to what people say in this majoritarian rule people, people we consider are not important they have voices and should be heard.
Meanwhile, political and legal experts have hailed the Constitutional court in Lilongwe for the historical determination regarding the disputed results of the May 21 presidential elections.
The constitutional court on Monday nullified results of the May presidential poll citing indisputable, grave and systematic irregularities as was petitioned by Dr. Chilima and Dr. Chakwera directing that a fresh election be held therefore within 150 days.