Malawi elections case verdict can be appealed —Court

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.

A panel of five judges comprising Ivy Kamanga, Dingiswayo Madise, Mike Tembo, Redson Kapindu and Healey Potani as chairperson will not be persuaded to make a decision by public opinion

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.

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Mtonga Mwana
Mtonga Mwana
11 months ago

I thought bwana Chair ama judge azikhamba kuti the case is almost concluded. The much awaited verdict is around the corner komanso, in their opinion, akuganiza kuti everybody will appreciate their verdict both the winners as well as the losers. However, ngati ayamba kale indirectly saying kuti oluza can appeal, then search me

Destroyer of liars
11 months ago

These judges should just concentrate on coming up with a verdict and not sschooling us about anarchy. If they bring a judgement that is against the tendered evidence then it will be their judgement that will bring anarchy. Please take note that even in countries where there is anarchy there are courts and these courts have judges. Why have people chosen the path of anarchy? Its because of miscarriage of justice by the same courts that favour the oppressors against the oppressed. When the oppressed people say enough is enough anarchy creeps in and people start disobeying the law. If… Read more »

mwanjala
11 months ago

100%

Malawian
Malawian
11 months ago

Well said Judge Potani but a strong appeal to you the five Judges is to remain independent, objective and application of the relevant laws to the last letter as you have somehow demonstrated throughout the open trial.The joint crookdness and fraudulent practices exposed by DPP, and MEC throughout this open trial are now well documented and are in the minds of all Malawians and the whole World at large.If truth is to be told, Malawi is at risk to go to War going by the current mood not only of the Nsundwe residents, Goliat but the whole Country. You the… Read more »

Mafulufute
Mafulufute
11 months ago

The only ruling that will not bring anarchy is the one that nullifies the results. Anything to the contrary will breed Sodom and Gomorrah. Tizanamizanepo apa people are not interested in the appeal story.

Tan
Tan
11 months ago
Reply to  Mafulufute

there will be no anarchy in the long term whichever way. the majority of Malawians live in the rural area and are busy with their maizefields osati za mavoti. it’s only those on social media that are busy with politics.

Steven
Steven
11 months ago
Reply to  Mafulufute

100% True. If MEC and DPP wins the Court Case, unfortunately there will be War until Peter Muthalika and DPP are removed from power.

Talira kwa nthawi yayitali, a Malawi. No more 5years of DPP.

yobu 13 13
11 months ago

we are not the final arbiter?/?? so are you telling people like lazaras chakhwela and saulozi cholima to go to the supreme court mmmm

Mbonga Matoga
Mbonga Matoga
11 months ago

The country can not and should not be held hostage for ever……once the ruling is out we don’t need any more appeals, the country need to move on.

My recommendation is that whichever way the ruling will go what we need most after that are electoral reforms, new ECM chair and commissioners, to make sure that no rigging ever happens again at least not at the industrial scale as it has been happening after the 1994 elections.

Every constituency should be announcing their results independently and not allow results to be manipulated in transit to the national tally centre.

Rhaaaaa!
Rhaaaaa!
11 months ago

There is a clue of some sort in this speech. The disgruntled may be disgruntled with the outcome. Fingers crossed

George Malemu
George Malemu
11 months ago

So where did Ansah take it from when she said concourt case verdict can not be appealed?

Opportunist
Opportunist
11 months ago

Angopangilatu appeal so that next year this country should move forward because 2019 has been a bad year to me.

yobu 13 13
11 months ago
Reply to  Opportunist

final court is supreme court

C Banda
C Banda
11 months ago

““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.”

Can anyone unravel that statement for me? I cannot figure out what the learned judges do not expect.

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