President Peter Mutharika and the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) have filed an appeal to Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal against constitutional court ruling on Friday in favour of opposition parties pursuing a case over disputed election results.
The appeal has been lodged by Churchill and Norris Law Consultants, asking the Supreme Court of Appeal to consider the prayer of President Peter Mutharika, who narrowly won the election last month, to quash the referral case by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera and UTM Party leader Saulos Chilima who are disputing the May 21 presidential poll results.
A panel of five judges hearing the matter; Healey Potani, Mike Tembo, Dingiswayo Madise, Ivy Kamanga and Redson Kapindu, said the case could continue and set June 26 as the date for a full hearing.
However, in the appeal, MEC and Mutharika maintain their request to quash Chakwera and Chilima’s application and that the Supreme Court should reverse the decision of the Constitutional Court.
In the ground of appeal, Churchill and Norris Law Consultants argue that learned justices sitting as a Constitutional Courted “erred in law” one too many.
The judges said to have made an error in law by holding that there is no requirement under the law foe the election petition to be verified by a sworn statement when such a requirement exists both at common law and under the court (High Court) (Civil Procedure) Rule 2017.
The five judges are also fauled for making an error in law by holding that the petition had been paid for and that a petition had been filed in time in the absence of any proof of payment for a petition and preferring speculative hearsay evidence against cogent evidence.
The appeal also faults the judges for making another error in law by holding that the irregularity of filing a sworn statement verifying a petition out of time and that of replacing court documents without permission of the court and thus falsifying the court record and curable at law.
The judges also are faulted for “ratifying the fraudulent filing of the Electoral Petition.”
MCP’s lead lawyers, senior counsel Mordecai Msisha said the court said will hear the grounds for the appeal application while proceeding to set aside hearing for the case on June 26 2019.
“They can go on and appeal at the Supreme Court, we will meet there,” Msiska said.
Both MCP and UTM claim the May 21 Presidential Elections were rigged in favour of Mutharika who was declared winner with 38 percent of the votes trailed by Chakwera with 35 percent and Chilima with 20 percent.
Tipp-Ex, once the favourite tool of office workers fixing typing errors, was used widely on tally sheets in the elections and is the key issue being raised by opposition in their petition.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah admitted that Tipp-Ex was used on some result sheets at polling stations.
She said the commission did not supply any correction fluid with election material.
Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :