Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal perfected judgment on the elections case has given a deadline on the swearing-in of president-elect in the Constitution Court sanctioned presidential poll.
In the perfected judgment, the case gives July 3, 2020 as the deadline for the swearing in of the president-elect.
“It is a legal requirement that a president be elected and duly returned and sworn in by the commencement of the 151st day from the date of the judgment,” says the ruling.
The 151st day of the 150 days ordered by the Constitutional Court within which to hold the election falls on July 3 as the Constitutional Court ruling was made on February 3, 2020.
The Supreme Court perfected judgment asks parliament to fix the date for the election.
“It is important that Parliament fixes the dae of a fresh election. By the terms of the order of the Court below that there be a fresh election for the office of the President within 150 days, it is a legal requirement that a President must be elected and duly returned and sworn in by the commencement of the 151st day from the date of the judgement of the Court below [Constitution Court],” the unanimous decision of seven-judges panel of the Supreme Court ruled.
There was no immediate comment from the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) on the perfected ruling but this week its chairperson Jane Ansah suggested that the election be held on June 23 so that the counting of votes and the swearing in of the president elect falls under the court’s prescribed 150 days.
Polling is due on July 2, but could be brought forward to June 23 by parliament.
The Supreme Court also upheld the Constitutional Court’s order that the winner should get at least 50% plus one of the votes.
However, it ordered that no new voter registrations should be accepted for the new polls and that only presidential candidates who participated in the nullified May elections should be allowed to run in the rematch.