Presidential hopeful Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), who is torchbearer of the opposition Tonse Alliance on MCP ticket, has applauded the Judiciary after Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal on Friday upheld the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) ruling to nullify last year’s presidential vote.
Chakwera, who was second respondent in the case, said the judgement affirmed people’s trust in the country’s judicial system and demonstrated impartiality on the part of the judges who faced intimidation and even attempts to bribe them.
“I am so happy. I could dance if I had dancing legs and I think our Supreme Court justices have just continued to uphold the bar that was raised by the Constitutional Court,” said Chakwera to reporters.
“We believe that Malawi will send an example not in just the African continent and across the world that if you seek justice you can find it,” Chakwera said.
He continued: “I am so happy; it is a vindication of what justice looks like. We are ready to follow through with what needs to happen but this country deserves better and I think a Supreme Court justice has just proven that.”
President Peter Mutharika and the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) appealed against Constitutional Court which nullified the May 21 2019 elections.
The Supreme Court described the grounds of appeal as “embarrassing and distressful” and that “the judges struggled to make sense of it”.
South Africa-based Malawian lawyer Professor Danwood Chirwa, a professor of law at University of Cape Town, hailed the ruling, saying it will herald “a true political renaissance” in the country.
The court also gave clear interpretation electoral laws that presidential candidates should only be declared winners after attaining over 50 percent+1 of the votes.
“The confirmation of the interpretation of majority is the most important part of the judgement. It settles the law and will serve as a tipping point in Malawi’s democracy,” said Chirwa.
“The court reviewed all its previous decisions and carefully considered the consequences of those decisions. It decided against upholding its 1999 decision and adopted the Constitutional Court’s interpretation of the word. It’s a hugely consequential decision which will reverberate through the entire political space,” he said.
The court ordered that the fresh election should be held as ruled by the High Court and that only those who voted in the May 2019 election should be the ones to vote.
On presidential contestants, the court ordered that only those who contested in the May 2019 poll should contest in the fresh election. Meanwhile, the fresh election is scheduled for July 2.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :