Chaotic Malawi election sparks legal battle

A Malawian soldier patrols while voters wait in line to cast their ballots as voting procedures are repeated in Ndirande on May 21, 2014 after polling were disrupted the previous day in BlantyreBlantyre (Malawi) (AFP) – A week after Malawians went to the polls to elect a new president the result is still not known and fierce legal wrangling has raised the prospect of a protracted political crisis. Amid reports of irregularities, the electoral commission, the country’s incumbent president and opposition parties are embroiled in lawsuits and counter-suits over the count. President Joyce Banda has said the vote was marred by “serious irregularities” and declared it “null and void,” calling for a do-over within 90 days, which she will not take part in. Malawi’s electoral commission has admitted problems — in some places the number of votes cast is greater than the number of voters — but efforts to stage a recount have been blocked by a court order at the request of opposition leader Peter Mutharika.

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