Chilima backs Mutharika decision to appeal election ruling: ‘He is exercising his right’

Malawi vice president and UTM party leader  Saulos Chilima says it is President Peter Mutharika’s constitutional right to appeal against the Constitutional Court ruling that overturned his re-election last May.

 Chilima addresses a news conference: Let Mutharika exercise his right to appeal.-Photo by Govati Nyirenda

Mutharika said he will lodge an appeal against the ruling by five judges.

Presidential spokesman Mgeme Kalirani said the ruling “cannot be allowed to stand … it will create a lot of problems in the country’s jurisprudence.

“It is a great miscarriage of justice,” he added in a statement.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday in Lilongwe, Chilima said Mutharika just like any Malawian, has a right to appeal.

“We all have rights. We exercise our right to present our issues to the Supreme Court of Appeal. People have a right to appeal or waive that right. It is not up to me to be stamping on peoples’ rights,” said Mutharika.

He said his legal team is ready to defend the Constitutional Court ruling.

Chilima has also called upon the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) commissioners and the chief executive officer Sam Alufandika to resign or face a new wave of protests.

He also said he has not yet spoken to president Peter Mutharika since the Constitutional Court reinstated the UTM president to the Republican vice presidency.

“I hold no grudge against him. We should forgive each other, we should move on, we can’t be stuck in the past,” Chilima said.

The reinstatement of Chilima as vice president automatically axes Everton Chimulirenji from the same post.

Analysis by BBC’s Andrew Harding

In essence, the judges argued that Malawians deserve, and should expect, an A- grade election – not perfect, perhaps (who can boast that?) but free of systemic abuse. They should not have to make do with the more familiar C+ election that some nations and institutions still seem to tolerate or encourage.

Secondly, the court directed Malawi’s parliament to consider recalling the current electoral commission to “ensure the smooth conduct of fresh elections”.

In so doing, they sent a signal that the supposedly neutral bureaucrats in charge of organising such flawed elections should be thrown out. They also implied that a slap on the wrist was not enough, and that Malawi’s precious democratic institutions needed to be properly defended.

This was an important blow against a widespread culture of impunity.

Thirdly, the judges said the current first-past-the-post system of picking a new president was unconstitutional.

In future, they said, the winner needed to gain more than 50% of the vote, which could mean a second-round run-off.

That could have dramatic political implications for Malawi and is, above all, sure to encourage opposition candidates and parties to enter into strategic coalitions, giving them an unanticipated boost.

Fundamentally, the court ruling weakens the power of incumbency – a power that is often stronger, and more open to abuse, in relatively young democracies.

Lawyers for Mr Chakwera and Saulos Chilima, another losing candidate, said correction fluid – known by the brand name Tipp-Ex – had been used on some of the tallying forms sent in by polling stations.

The changes were made after they had been signed by party agents, they said.

The lawyers also said that in some cases polling officials sent in the wrong copy of the results sheet to the main tallying centre.

They also found some mathematical errors in a small number of cases.

 

Though in each case there were not a huge number of errors, the lawyers said that the evidence pointed to a flawed process.

Since the disputed results were announced last May, there have been regular anti-government protests. Some of these have resulted in looting and the destruction of property, including government offices.

Two people – one police officer and one civilian – are known to have been killed during the demonstrations.

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Operation CHOTSA MBAVAA
Operation CHOTSA MBAVAA
9 months ago

Bwana SKC… this old MBAVAA has lost all his rights and don’t deserve it one single bit…. he deserves to get his face painted with black oil paint and made to sit on a donkey and parade him in the streets of all cities. After what he has done to this once prospering nation and now ruined it completely in the last 6 years. So what bloody right does he have or entitled to? Kick his ass all the way to ngwenya prison in chitipa.

Nzika
Nzika
9 months ago

Democrat wabodza! What evidence do you have?

The Democrat
The Democrat
9 months ago

SJK is busy endearing himself to APM and DPP. This man SKC is dangerous and will backstab anyone holding him back fro being President. Watch out Rev C and MCP.

Rhiz De'souza
Rhiz De'souza
9 months ago
Reply to  The Democrat

You are talking bru

Benjamin Kabinda Sakala
Benjamin Kabinda Sakala
9 months ago

Not everyone hate DPP or like UTM in North,or MCP no,but people like Chilima

masoambeta
masoambeta
9 months ago

BBC is there to disturb and it takes sides. Let’s boot them out and even EU izivaya. Azungu akutiyenjeza. We can’t be ruled by mzungu anymore.

Angoni apaphata
Angoni apaphata
9 months ago

What happened to accepting the court rulling.? Dpp are full of lies. Now the ruling is unacceptable.

Mtete
Mtete
9 months ago

Many people knew long before the ruling that APM would lose the election case and subsequently appeal. He is definitely entitled to an appeal. However, he has an uphill task to convince whoever the judges will be considering the verdict on Monday was unanimous, i.e. all the 5 judges agreed to nulify the election. There might have been a gleamer of hope for Che Peter were the outcome divided, i e.three to two in favour. I personally think APM and whoever is advising him are being selfish because so much of taxpayers money will be wasted in pursuit of this… Read more »

Maliseche
Maliseche
9 months ago

I listened to his press conference, I’m very impressed with his level-headedness, Great speech!

judge
judge
9 months ago

or chakwerayo azalimbe kuwatenga awa u runningmate. mavuto okhaokha

judge
judge
9 months ago

a chmulirenji anali bwino……9 months opanda press briefing. siza a chilima. daily ma update even pa nkhani zopanda mitu ngati izi.

Mabvuto
Mabvuto
9 months ago
Reply to  judge

Koma Judge DPP Cadet, ulindivuto lalikulu, Kodi Vhimulilenji ndi muthuso kkkkkk,

Rhaaaaa!
Rhaaaaa!
9 months ago
Reply to  Mabvuto

Eti abale. A Chimulirenji wo azitiko chani ku press conference ko? O polofesa zikomo pondisankha? Kkkkkkk

CJZ
CJZ
9 months ago
Reply to  judge

Chimulirenji paja samatha chizungu

Jay
Jay
9 months ago
Reply to  judge

Mwanya

Kwinyani
Kwinyani
9 months ago
Reply to  judge

Iwe judge !
Press briefing akanapanga chimulirenji kuti alenkule zopanda mutu ngati iwe ?
Chibubu chimene China ndikumati vice president ?

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