The Constitutional Court says it will; deliver the much-awaited judgement on the disputed May 21 presidential election results within the stipulated framework of 45 days from the last day of court sessions but said its ruling can be subject to an appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeal.
In his concluding remarks in court in Lilongwe on Friday evening, on the 61st day of the historic case, chair Judge Healey Potani said the Constitutional Court the final arbiter in the matter.
“The determination will go one way or the other… There will have to be a winner and a loser, in a sense,” said Potani, leading a panel of High Court judges including ivy Kamanga, Dingiswayo Madise, Mike Tembo and Redson Kapindu.
“We want to mention that our legal or judicial system gives the disgruntled party a right to appeal, and this appeal will be in the Supreme Court of Appeal. We are not the final arbiter in this matter.
“We, therefore, do not expect –and I must emphasise this—that any disgruntled party will act, or react, otherwise other than by lodging an appeal, if at all,” he stressed.
The election dispute has caused unprecedented tension, demonstrations and violence in the country.
In the Constitutional Court case, presidential candidates in the May 21 Tripartite Elections SaulosChilima of UTM Party and Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) are jointly asking the court to nullify the presidential poll results. They are the first and second petitioners, respectively.
The two dragged the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to court after the electoral body declared President Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)the winner in the elections. They allege that the poll results were fraught with irregularities and that the electoral process was mismanaged by MEC.
By virtue of the law. Mutharika was added to the case as the first respondent, while MEC is the second respondent.
Potani has since urged people who may feel aggrieved by a ruling to be made in the disputed presidential case to prevent anarchy and uphold the rule of law by appealing the determination in the Supreme Court of Appeal.
He urged all presidents of political parties in the case to prevail over their followers and sympathisers to accept the court’s determination and uphold the rule of law, except, of course, subject to the right of appeal.
“Anything to the contrary will amount to undermining the rule of law,” said Potani, adding “undermining the rule of law breeds lawlessness; lawlessness breeds anarchy. And what does anarchy lead to? Sadly, anarchy leads to a destruction of society.”
The court indicated that the case judgement will be based strictly on the evidence in court and not public opinion.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :