The High Court of Malawi has set Tuesday, February 11 2020 as the day it will hear an application from Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) that that enforcement of the judgement by the Constitution Court (ConCourt) that nullified last year’s presidential election and ordered a new vote within 150 days, be suspended pending appeal.
The appeal filed by MEC argues that the five judges erred in almost all their findings against the electoral body.
MEC asks the High Court that the ConCourt ruling be set aside.
A sworn statement by commission chairwoman Jane Ansah who supports the appeal, says the ConsCourt overstepped its powers by ordering parliament to convene within 21 days to amend the Electoral Act.
In an order on Friday seen by Nyasa Times, and signed by High Court assistant registrar, Madalitso Khoswe Chimwaza, the Court has directed that “the hearing of the 1st and 2nd Respondent’s applications for suspension of enforcement of judgement be on 11th February 2020 at 9:00 am.”
The first and second respondent, the order adds, should serve all necessary processes by 8:00 am on Saturday 8th February, 2020 and that the “Petitioners file and serve all necessary processes in response by 4:00 pm on Monday, 10th February, 2020.”
Further reads the order: “All processes to be served in both hard copy and electronic version…[and] during the hearing each [petitioners and respondents] shall be accorded 45 minutes to present its case.”
The suspension of enforcement of judgement is most likely to ruffle feathers amongst the citizenry who excitedly welcomed the ruling and have been celebrating since Monday.
Some quarters, especially human rights defenders on Friday expressed their discontent after MEC, the first respondent, appealed against the ruling.
Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) coordinator for the northern region, Happy Mhango, wrote on his Facebook page:”What MEC has done has prompted us at HRDC to shorten our recess. Anti-Jane Ansah demos reloaded…coming soon!!!”
President Peter Mutharika, too, the second respondent, has also challenged the ruling arguing there was a “miscarriage of justice.”
Ansah’s statement also asserts that the budget for a new election is estimated at $60 million, and she argued that a lot of money could be wasted unless enforcement of the court’s judgment is suspended.
She indicated that a new election could be possible by October 28 2020 instead.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :