The UTM Party leader Dr. Saulos Chilima, who is the first petitioner in the presidential election nullification petition case is expected to address the nation on Thursday through a news conference ahead of judgement day in the Constitution Court on February 3 2020.
In a brief statement made available to Nyasa Times, Chilima, 46 a former telecoms executive, who was President Peter Mutharika’s closest ally and vice-president before a split last year, will address the nation at 10:00am at its head office in the capital Lilongwe.
His news conference comes when High Court of Malawi sitting as the Constitutional Court has announced that the five-judge panel comprising Healey Potani, Ivy Kamanga, Dingiswayo Madise, Redson Kapindu and Mike Tembo will on Monday February 3 2020 pronounce their determinationon the presidential election nullification petition case.
Chilima news conference is themed: “A call for peace.”
UTM spokesperson, Joseph Chidanti Malunga said the party by choosing the legal route was in itself a message that it opts for peaceful mechanisms of presenting its grievances.
“UTM believes in the rule of law and that is why we went to court. We should be able to adhere to the ruling,” he said.
Malawi has been undergoing these political turmoils since 21 May 2019, when the opposition challenged the outcome of the 2019 May elections.
High Court of Malawi and Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal registrar Agnes Patemba has stressed the the judgment will favour either the respondents (Malawi Electoral Commission and Mutharika) or the petitioners.
“So whosoever will not be satisfied with the judgment of the High Court will have the right to appeal to the Supreme Court. Just to say that as they initially followed the legal process to take this issue to court if they will not be satisfied we want to plead with them to proceed with the same route to take the matter to the Supreme Court,” she said.
In the case, two of the presidential candidates in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections—UTM Party’s Saulos Chilima (the first petitioner) and Lazarus Chakwera of MCP (the second petitioner)—want the court to nullify presidential election results over alleged irregularities, especially in the results management system. Mutharika, who was declared winner of the elections, is the first respondent with MEC as the second respondent