Commonwealth lawyers, judges and magistrates have added their voice to the chorus of concern that President Peter Mutharika continues to criticise the Judiciary following the nullification of the May 21 2019 presidential election results.
A statement jointly issued by the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association (CMJA), Commonwealth Legal Education Association (Clea), Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) and the Rechters voor Rechters (Judges for Judges), state that the country’s democracy will be degraded if court judgements are faulted, particularly by people in high positions like the President.
Reads the statement in part: “The courts are the guardians of justice, the cornerstone of a democratic system based on the rule of law.
“Democracy will be gravely undermined if judgements of the courts are not respected and if there are uncorroborated and unfounded accusations against the Judiciary.”
The associations further state that a democratic State like Malawi based on the rule of law cannot exist or function if government and other State authorities ignore their constitutional obligations and fail to adhere to court orders, adding Mutharika’s sentiments constitute an improper attack on the Judiciary’s independence.
President Mutharika, an international law professor, has on numerous occasions criticised the five-judge panel of the High Court sitting as a Constitutional Court and the seven judges of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal for allegedly “robbing him of what he calls credible win in the annulled election.
He has argued that the court-ordered fresh presidential election within 150 days from February 3 is not the will of the people.
Presidential spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani defended the President, arguing that he was not attacking the judges but exercising his freedom to express his opinion on the court’s performance and that he is perfectly entitled to that.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :