A five-judge panel of the High Court sitting as a Constitutional Court in Lilongwe have granted from two of the presidential candidates in the May 21 Tripartite Elections who are challenging results of the elections their request that Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).
In the case, MEC is the second respondent while President Peter Mutharika is the first respondent to a joint petition from two presidential candidates, first petitioner Saulos Chilima of UTM Party and the second petitioner Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party(MCP).
Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda certified the case as a constitutional matter and appointed the five-judge panel to hear the case.
In their ruling on preliminary applications Thursday, the five-judge panel which comprises Healey Potani, Mike Tembo, Dingiswayo Madise, Ivy Kamanga and Redson Kapindu, the court also ordered the electoral body headed by embattled Jane Mjojo Ansah to provide documents on audited election results to the court within 11 days.
The court also granted the wish of the petitioners that ballots and polling materials that would form part of evidence in court safety be kept by the Clerk of Parliament under conditions of strict security.
The judges said the electoral material be deposited with the Clerk of Parliament within 11 days from Thursday.
Chilima , the country’s immediate past vice president and Chakwera were also granted their wish by the court to access to MEC server and that bid documents for the recruitment of election auditors and the names of the auditors should be disclosed.
However, the court dismisses the two presidential hopefuls on their request for MEC to release bank details of its data entry clerks.
Mordecai Msiska, the lead legal counsel for Chakwera, said they want to examine bank accounts of the country’s electoral staff to track possible bribe.
“We need to know whether any MEC staff had had transactions in their accounts that are unusual, that could not be explained in terms of inflows of funds”, he said.
But the court observed that allowing MEC access to the staff’s bank accounts would be an infringement of their right o privacy.
The court also dimissed the request by the petitioners to dismiss MEC Commissioners in the event that the Constitutional Court finds reasonable grouns to order fresh elections for the presidential seat.
Both Chilima and Chakwera are challenging results of the presidential election, claiming that they were rigged in favour of Mutharika who was declared winner with 38 percent.
Results MEC announced show that Chakwera trailed Mutharika with 35 percent while Chilima finished third with 20 percent of the votes.
Hearing of the full matter resumes on July 29.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :