Malawi in constitutional crisis, says dean of law: ‘MEC chair is not an appointee of President’

Legal experts have said the resignation of  Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah from her position has pushed the country into a constitutional criris  with barely 42 days to the final countdown of the court ordered 150 days to hold the fresh presidential election.

Madise: Whether people like it or not, we are now in a constitutional crisis 

Ansah—a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal— who was set to expire in October this year, told Malawi Broadcasting Corporation Television Thursday evening said: “I have written to the appointing authority that I am stepping aside because I respect the judgement of the Supreme Court, not the demonstrations.”

However, legal commentators are arguing that they hope Ansah has not goofed again by writing President Peter Mutharika, saying  the chairperson of MEC is no an appointee.

“The Judicial Services Commission nominates  the chairperson from among its judges,” said one legal expert citing the Constitution.

Ansah’s resignation should be directed to the Judicial Services Commission.

“I hope Ansah did not write to the President. Under the Constitution, she is a nominee of the Judicial Service Commission.”

Sunduzwayo Madise, dean of law at Chancellor College—a constituent college of the University of Malawi said the Constitution in Section 75 (1) stipulates that there shall be an Electoral Commission which shall consists of a Chairman who shall be a Judge nominated  in that behalf by the Judicial Services Commission and such other members, not being less than sis, as may be appointed in accordance with an Act of Parliament.

One of the private practice lawyers David Kanyenda has said none of the Judicial Officers who were involved in the elections petition case would be a suitable replacement of Ansah.

This leaves  Justice Dunsain Fipamutima Mwaungulu as the sole Supreme Court Justice of Appeal who was not involved in the elections case.

However, Mwaungulu is fast approaching retirement and wouldn’t complete a full term as MEC Chair, it was observed.

Mwaungulu, a respectable judge with a glittering career in the judiciary, is holed up in London following the lockdown and is also ruled out for short term to preside over the fresh elections.

Alternatively another Judge  – excluding those handled election petition case as Constitution Court  or the Supreme Court should  be appointed as Chair.

Madise has since  implored President Mutharika and Parliament to avert the constitutional crisis by facilitating speedy enactment of the laws for the June 23 fresh presidential election including the way forward on the MEC commissioners in the face of court declarations of incompetence on the part of the commissioners.

The contract of  eight commissioners is ending on June 5 this year.

Madise said Malawi is now “in a constitutional crisis” and called on political leaders  to “cooperate and move quickly to sort out the legal and political mess we are in. We don’t have the time, but we have no choice. Malawi is more important for us all.”

The electoral body had initially set July 2, which was day 149 since the ruling, but has since brought the date forward to June 23.

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Marx
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Marx

They demanded her to RESIGN

Elie Annie
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Elie Annie

Mesa a Mtambo ndi aChilima akhale akuyenda kuti APM apange fire MEC chair. Was Madise out of the country to advise his fellow thugs of the right person to fire Ansah…..

You think tidzimvela inu nthawi zonse ngati ngati nyumba tikugonazi anamanga ndi ma lawyer… kapena madzi tikumwawa ndichifukwa cha ma lawyer…. kapena magetsiwa.

Madise ndiye chani?

Marx
Guest
Marx

They demanded her to RESIGN

Lusayo
Guest
Lusayo

This lockdown yipangisa all ma politicians / MEC criminals kuti asatukeko Ku Malawi… They need to payback for their weaknesses 😎

Chikoti
Guest
Chikoti

Problem.of.trying to interpret laws to suit your taste.nzimenezi..even a layman is able to question the way our legal minds are behaving…..laws are supposed to stand the test of times..not as others feel at.a particular time ……

Nyau Zidana
Guest

like jane said, Malawi does not need a Mvundula madzi. we will have elections, free and fare by all the courts standards and measures. You will have no reason to cry foul. Lose and take your tails between your legs and bow out in peace. The country needs to move on. palibe za Mcp chipani chankhanza pa malawi pano. uchindere konko!

TRUTH
Guest
TRUTH

I have never trusted a lawyer. They are thieves. I like Medical Doctors for passion they have for their patients. They even sacrifice their lives to save other people’s lives. When lawyers know that they will gain nothing, that shun away. Crooks! Crooks! Crooks!!!

mphemvu
Guest
mphemvu

Mwaungulu has more than a year to retire

True
Guest
True

Abwera pa lichero? Tickets to the UK are now at $3000 And over if you can find a plane. Even taking weeks to arrange

clement
Guest
clement

If we are not very careful, Malawi will be on fire ‘coz of ppl like Chakwera, Chilima, Mtambo and the biased rulling from few judges. Am just saying. Don’t think you’re foolish the president. We are watching you again we are watching you and we know your strength and weakness. Thanks

nafundo zalo
Guest
nafundo zalo

i dont vote but why tippex was used the only answer heni and pitala can answer

Lusayo
Guest
Lusayo

They messed up our nation

Nalingula
Guest
Nalingula

Mumatoona ngati Malawi ndi President ? The Power he has is delegated by Us the People mkuoona Anthu akatokwiya Boma limathera Pompo ….Sudan,Egypt etc Mwatomanga ma flats ambirimbiri ,ma tract ,ma bus ndi Misonkho yathu…Ndie mukatobweresa Chisokonezo mudyerera Ndalamazo ? As for the Old Man he has Nothing to Lose….Kuno kulibe Chake ,No Ana ,No Dzizukulu ….Osamaswa phale Manu Akatotha ….

ZangazangA
Guest
ZangazangA

Cholinga muoneke ngat mlomwe anthu aziti Peter kwawo sakumufuna?😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 Kma abale

Nalingula
Guest
Nalingula

@zanga not everyone who comes from Phalombe ,Mulanje or Thyolo is Lomwe ….And not every Lomwe supports your Party ….These are the People I have voted for in my lifetime Chakuamba,Bingu and Chakwera ….Nanga nditonena kuti am half Mang’anja ….Even in Thyolo do you have a Lomwe T/ A ?

Phiri
Guest

That’s true. MCP and Chakwera are destroying our country. All because they want power and connived with corrupt judges who happen to be Chilima, Chakwera and Joyce Banda relatives and friends.

Omex70
Guest
Omex70

Usatikwane cadet iwe.

Luso
Guest

Ndi galu kwa basi alibe zeru. Dziko wawononga kale pitala utuuza chani iwe mwana wa Jane answer

Vavilov
Guest
Vavilov

Clement don’t provoke violence. Address DPP cadets who are burning people are you one of them?

Nalingula
Guest
Nalingula

When all is said and done. ..What we need is a New Credibke Electoral Commission….These People Could have Resigned Long Time Ago …Koma they wanted to Sabotage the Elections …
When did that Evil Lady Learn to Respect the Law? As soon as the 5 Concourt Ruled She Knew that Her Position was Untenable ….But she Decided to Continue Her Suicide Mission…Malawi is not for 2 people APM and Jane Only ….And this Country Will Go On without Them ….Ati Strategy yopangira delay Zisankho ndi kusokoneza Ziko ….Waiting for the Remaining Commissioners to Resign as Well …..

Dudha
Guest
Dudha

Madise is condused. Judiciary Service Commission only nominates – the president appoints MEC chair.

Hassan
Guest
Hassan

Nzako wanna section ya constitution ya Malawi yomwe ikufotokonza zomwe wanenazo, iwenso tanenatu section ya argument yakoyo, sizongolotatu izi.

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