Malawians have taken up in various social media platforms to debate on the recently released Malawi Law Society guidelines on the aftermath of the May 21 polls, in which, among other issues, the lawyers body tells the opposition to halt holding political rallies.
MLS letter signed by its honorary secretary Martha Etta Kaukonde said the society has observed that since the announcement of the May 21 Tripartite Elections results, political party leaders of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), UTM Party and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) have arranged public rallies.
The Law Society says political parties should observe that this is not campaign window provided for in Section 56-57 of Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act (PPEA) is 60 days before the opening of the polling.
But some Malawians, in various social media platforms, have questioned the seriousness of MLS on this issue, saying political party leaders have a right to connect to its grassroot after an election.
“This is not the first time and the first country where political leaders hold ‘thank you’ rallies. Politics is about people and political leaders must constantly connect with the people with or without an election,” says Guy Likoswe on Facebook.
Some others accuse MLS of being “compromised” body with leadership being “captured” by the governing DPP.
MLS notes that while political parties have a right to assemble and disseminate information and indeed to raise governance issues with any public offices, they should spend energy to warn their members of the possibility of either outcome of the electoral dispute matter at the Constitutional Court, and the need to manage either outcome in accordance with the constitutional duty.
MCP president Lazarus Chakwera , one of the eight addresses and a petitioner in the election case, said he has received the letter but could not immediately comment.
“I will have to seek legal opinion from our lawyers before we make any comments,” said Chakwera.
UTM Party president Saulos Chilima, another petitioner in the election case, reserved his comments.
A five-judge panel of the High Court sitting as the Constitutional Court is on July 29 set to start hearing a petition filed by Chilima and Chakwera seeking nullification of the presidential election results over alleged irregularities, especially in the result management system.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :