Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera State vice-president Saulos Klaus Chilima (SKC), who is also UTM Party leader, have jointly called on President Peter Mutharika to abide by court ruling which paves the way for fresh elections after the constitutional court nullified the May polls.
The two political leaders, who have announced they will be forming an electoral alliance, said this after the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed application to stay a judgement that annulled the presidential election.
Chakwera and Chilima, who challenged the results in court, alleging massive irregularities, said since the Supreme Court of Appeal has ruled that the process in preparing the fresh elections should continue, Mutharika should proceed to sign election reforms bills passed by parliament.
The electoral bills propose a date for fresh elections and procedures to follow in case of runoffs.
Malawi’s constitution gives the president 21 days to sign the bills into law ans since the bills were passed, there are two days to go.
Parliament set May 19 as the date for fresh presidential elections after a constitutional court nullified last May’s ballot results, which Mutharika narrowly won.
“He needs to comply wirh what the court has said. He is a Malawian citizen just like the rest of us. Nobody is above the law,” said Chakwera while flanked by Chilima, both squelling with excitement.
Adding his comment, Chilima told reporters at the court: “By extension it’s not a multiple choice, comply, period!”
The substantive appeal case is going to be heard in the Supreme Court next month.
Lawyer Khumbo Soko, spokesperson for Chilima’s legal team, said a panel of seven Supreme Court judges “unanimously” threw out the application for a stay order.
“Now Malawi Electoral Commission must actually take active and concrete steps to comply with the ruling of the court [in organising the fresh elections],” said Soko.
Lawyer for MEC, Tamanda Chokhokho said the commission will “take the necessary steps”.
However, while giving a legal undertaking on behalf of MEC, Chokhotho said: “They will have to be some short cuts, lets hope all will end well.”
In the appeal, Mutharika argues that five-judge panel of the Constitutional Court erred in law in abandoning settled principles of law governing the annulment of a disputed election or effect of an irregularity on the overall result of an election as pronounced by the Supreme Court in a number of cases he cited.
The President argues the judges erred in law and in fact in holding that in the 2019 presidential election, there was an undue return and an undue election of the first appellant without any evidence of alternative results showing that the returned results of the election of the first appellant to the office of President of the Republic were false.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :