Lawyers for first petitioner Saulos Chilima and second petitioner Lazarus Chakwera challenging the re-election of President Peter Mutharika in May have asked the Constitutional Court in their final submissions to overturn the result of the poll.
The submissions by Chilima and Chakwera, losing presidential candidates for UTM Party and Malawi Congress Party (MCP), respectively, are circulating in public ahead of their oral submissions in court set for this week.
The 41-page submission filed by Chilima’s lead counsel Dr Chikosa Silungwe states that the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) had failed to hold a legitimate election and that the results were therefore “invalid, null and void.”
The submissions argue that presidential electuon breached the Constitution of Malawiparticulary on Sections 5, 6, 12 and 80.
It also cited a number of sections that the polls violated in Presidential and Parliamentray Elections Act (PPEA).
“The irregularity and fraud in the elections were substantial and significant that they affected the integrity of the elections,” reads the submission by Silungwe.
The submission further ask court to declare that Mutharika was “not validly declared the President elect and that the declaration is invalid, null and void.”
It states: “My Lady and My Lords, we pray as follow; a declaration that the presidential elections of 21 May 2019 are null and void.”
Chakwera’s 127 pages long submission also prays to court to order that MEC should rescind its declaration thatr President Mutharika had been duly elected “on the grounds that there were irregularities and contraventions of the Constitution and Electoral Laws.”
Signed by Titus Mvalo, one of the lawyers who represented Chakwera in the case, the submissions ask the court to declare that Mutharika was not duly elected under section 100 (3) (b) of the PPEA.
Chakwera lengthy submissions also cites alleged violations to Section 6 of the Constitution, which deals with expression of the will of the people through universal and equal suffrage in elections held in accordance with the Constitution in a manner prescribed by Parliament and Section 40 of the Constitution in regard to political rights of citizens who include the voters.
It further says the elections were managed in contravention of:
- Section 71 of the PPEA—security of work items at polling stations, Section 76 of the Constitution,
- Section 81 of the PPEA which deals with polling only after verification that there are no irregularities;
- Section 90 of the PPEA—in regard to collection of unused ballot papers and placing them in sealed envelopes,
- Section 91 of the PPEA—in regard to classification of null and void votes, votes for each candidate and extensive vote tampering.
Chakwera and Chilima, in their separate submissions, further agree that MEC was negligent in the administration of the elections and failed to ensure the security, transparency, openness, verifiability, accuracy and other essential features of an election process that is free and fair.
The lawyers for MEC and President Peter Mutharika, who is the first respondent in the case and was declared winner of the May 21 elections, are expected to also file final submissions in response to the submissions by the opposition challengers.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :