Ansah argues in appeal ‘5 judges made errors in law’ for do-over presidential election order

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) have filed an appeal to Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal against Constitutional Court ruling that nullified last year’s presidential election and ordered a new vote within 150 days because of widespread irregularities.

MEC chairperson Jane Ansah and commissioners: Voter crediblity damaged

High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal, registrar Agnes Patemba, confirmed she had received the appeals by the electoral body with sworn statements signed by its embattled chairperson Justice Janer Ansah.

Ansah supports the appeal, says the Constitutional Court overstepped its powers by ordering parliament to convene within 21 days to amend the Electoral Act.

She argues that the five-judges pane; Healey Potani, Mike Tembo, Dingiswayo Madise, Ivy Kamanga and Redson Kapindu,  who were unanimous in the ruling, made errors of law one too many.

MEC argues the High Court Judges erred by claiming that the electoral body breached prescriptions on Parliamentary and Presidential Elections (Forms) Regulations as these issues were not stated in the petitions.

The Commission observes that this was not supported by sworn statements and could not therefore arise as an issue to be determined by the court.

According to court documents in Nyasa Times possession, detailing 21 grounds of appeal, the judges also erred in failing to consider whether breach of Form 6 or of any other form materially affected the results of the election.

“The learned judges erred in failing to consider that the Presidential election forms and processes were discussed by all the stakeholders months before the polling day and were not objected to by the petitioners prior to the holding of the elections

“The court erred in finding breach of provisions/sections of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act (PPEA) that were not specified in any of the petitions or supporting sworn statements as having been breached, ” argues MEC in its affidavits.

The learned judges are challenged that they erred in failing to observe and find that

(i) results from District Returning Officers were available to the Electoral Commission during the national results determination process;

(ii)  the District Returning Officers have statutory powers to delegate some functions to other officers of the Commission and this included delegation to the Constituency tally centre;

(iii) the delegation of the process to the Constituency tally center did not compromise any candidate vote count or affect the result of the election and

(iv) the setting up of the Constituency tally centred was actually at the behest of the stakeholders and was for justifiable reasons;

The learned judges erred in failing to observe and find that breach of section 98 of the PPEA was not specified in any of the petitions or supporting sworn statements and even if it had been,  they failed to find that failure to follow its dictates to the letter materially affected the result of the election;

MEC further argues that the judges erred in failing to observe that breach of Section 119 of the PPEA was not pleaded by any of the petitioners or stated in any of their supporting sworn statement and even if they had,  they erred in failing to find that its alleged breach did not affect the result of the election;

The court erred in finding that Commissioners were material witnesses and that the failure to call them as wirnesses compromised the Electoral Commission’s case.

MEC also contends that the judges  erred in dealing with the issue of the power of the Constitution to delegate tasks to staff including the Chief Elections Officer as this issue was never raised in any of the petitions or supporting sworn statements;

The appeal faults judges that they erred in finding that the Chief Elections Officer not a competent witness to give evidence on what the Commissioners had decided and to explain or report to the complainants and give evidence in court as to why the Commissioners took particular decisions;

The court also erred in finding that the Commissioners never dealt with complaints raised by the Petitioners before the determination of the national result of the election.

 Ansah accused the Constitutional Court of acting in “excess of its jurisdiction”.

Ansah’s statement also asserts that the budget for a new election is estimated at $60 million, and she argued that a lot of money could be wasted unless enforcement of the court’s judgment is suspended.

She said organising an election would require more time — at least 261 days — suggesting a new election could be possible by October 28 instead.

Ansah also faulted the court’s order that parliament look into the competence and conduct of electoral commissioners and staff, saying the court has already criticized their conduct.

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Tizanka
Tizanka
9 months ago

If indeed the courts were impartial then Joyce Banda should have been president, the last president who got 50+1 was Bingu and Joyce Banda was the vice president

Nasingwe
Nasingwe
9 months ago

tuukavotatu ife.nkeesa unatibwatika ukufuna kufufuta ndo tipex!!
simunauzane zoona.
bwanji namagwelu wakoyo akufuna kutikakamila ngati nsabwe ya n khwapa olo yakuujeni! mxxxx

Nasingwe
Nasingwe
9 months ago

tikucotsela pa 150 days musatinyase mkesa mwawelenga 500 pages ija!!! go and pat your back or masturbate your shit . you whore jezebel. for the mess you have caused in the history of malawi. tapangaso fwinyo, si nsampha wakupana pano! get your toothless bastard witch with you and pat on each others bak.
mxiiii

mapuya mulupale
mapuya mulupale
9 months ago

Peter wamunthalika anakupusitsa kuti udawina chonde a MEC mubwezereni ndalama zake peteryo akagulire chimanga anthu a ku thyolo kwa goliyati akufandinjala .chondechonde appeal sigwira.

Ngeme
Ngeme
9 months ago

Ukudandaula za ndalama za chisankho zichoka mthumba mwa amako??? U are saying u want 261 days iwe chukukhuza ndi chani mmesa uchokako kumeneko…iwe unadya kale zambiri leave us alone pliz nfiti yayikazi iwe …mtendele uli mdziko muno wakunyasa maliseche akuyabwa

Mavuto
Mavuto
9 months ago

I wonder why they are so afraid of the appeal. An appeal is part of the judicial process. In fact the justice potani said, they want the party that loses the case to react by appealing and nothing else. The party that lost is appealing and some ganja boys here from mcp utm and hrdc think that is not justice? What kind of justice are they talking about? Forcing the loser to accept defeat while they themselves celebrate victory………rubbish argument, let the appeal be heard, if the verdict is upheld, then ansah can go, election is held. There is no… Read more »

John Jerk
John Jerk
9 months ago
Reply to  Mavuto

I can see that a lot of Cadets are dunderhead. Remember that Fiti Ansah in the first place said that there is no appeal in the concourt now what made her to start lodging appeal? Don’t take Malawians for granted

Fake Petros
Fake Petros
9 months ago
Reply to  Mavuto

Be CAREFUL what you WISH FOR in LIFE.
Ansah had the opportunity to represent MEC during court proceedings and not delegate Alfandika (who is not a lawyer by profession). As head of the electoral body she could have been cross-examined and re-examined to give a clear legal of MEC. Pano akubwera kuchuluka nzeru

Mitengo
Mitengo
9 months ago

Game on! A judge vs a panel of 5 judges presided by another independent panel of judges. Even Healy Potani provided way for appeal and no one can stop this game. Let’s see the real lawyers. Kkkkk!!

tung'ande
tung'ande
9 months ago

These stupid judges were making their own cases and ruling on them. For goodness sake did Chilima petition the court to install him. Did Chilima or Chakwera petition the court to order parliament to discuss 50+1 within 21 days. We thought these people were wise when they went into hiding to write these useless 500 pages. We know they have been sharing notes with Chilima and Chakwera that the ruling would favour them.

Ida
Ida
9 months ago
Reply to  tung'ande

You shld remember that the court was sitting as a constitutional court and in it’s hearing of the case a number of constitutional issues came up. What the court did is to make recommendations to relevant institutions to do the right thing so that such matters don’t arise again. Are u happy with the 8 days that MEC is given to announce the results for example?

Tamwa
Tamwa
9 months ago
Reply to  tung'ande

Chilima did not ask the concourt to reinstall him. The reinstallation is as a result of the nullification of the elections. It is a normal process to revert to pre-election status. I can see how illiterate you are and the rest of your questions prove my point.

tung'ande
tung'ande
9 months ago
Reply to  Tamwa

So if he never asked then the former members of parliament are justified to reclaim their seats. This ruling has caused constitutional crisis. If you look at it soberly

Ida
Ida
9 months ago
Reply to  tung'ande

Can you tell us the names of aggrieved MPS who had petitioned the court to nullify
all parliamentary results?

Jose
Jose
9 months ago
Reply to  Tamwa

Also court erred on restatement their term ended 5 years this time is a provisional first 150 days until elections are conducted otherwise section 85 of our constitution should have been applied since the office of president and vice became vacant through nulification.The section READS. IF AT ANYTIME BOTH THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT AND FIRST VICE PRESIDENT BECOME VACANT THEN CABINET SHALL ELECT FROM AMONG ITS MEMBERS AND ACTING PRESIDENT AND ACTING FIRST VICE PRESIDENT WHO SHALL HOLD OFFICE FOR NOT MORE THAN SIXTY DAYS OR, WHERE FOUR YEARS OF A PRESIDENTIAL TERM HAVE EXPIRED,FOR THE REST OF THAT… Read more »

victor
9 months ago

Take it or leave it she is an Iron lady

Fake Petros
Fake Petros
9 months ago
Reply to  victor

She’s Jezebel selfish, heartless and sadistic.

The Aristocrat
The Aristocrat
9 months ago
Reply to  victor

Ndi wa makani chabe, shes not an iron lady but and adamant lady. Makani ena amavulalitsa. Shes lost respect and credibility mpaka kale. As far as majority of malawians are concerned, shes a stubborn crook.

Ida
Ida
9 months ago

Mayi Jane Ansa ndinu odabwitsa. You were given an opportunity to explain to the nation what happened during the elections but u never came to court to testify. Why? Now u want to appeal really?

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