The Supreme Court of Appeal panel of seven judges has declined a request by President Peter Mutharika and Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to grant the stay order on the judgement by the Constitutional Court in its entirety.
The judges unanimously said they did not find valid goruns for the stay order to stop electoral processes.
MEC lawyers made a frantic plea to the judges to consider suspending the Constitutional Court ruling until the Supreme Court makes a final determination on the election matter in an appeal.
The electoral body argues that a better date for the next elections would be October 28 2020 to enable the commission prepare the activities properly.
But lawyer for petitioners Titus Mvalo said the basis on which MEC is presenting its proposal is not holding, adding they have opposed them as they know that there is capacity to hold elections and that the provision for the momet was made by Finance Minister Joseph Mwanamvekha in Mid-Year Budget Review last month.
Among others, the Constitutional Court ordered the holding of a fresh presidential election within 150 days from the ruling date of February 3, 2020.
With Supreme Court rejection of the stay order it means Constitutional Court order for fresh presidential election within 150 days and subsequent preparations for it will remain in force.
Now preparations for the fresh presidential election would continue, with the Supreme Court proceeding to hear the substantive appeal case.
And hopes for Minister Everton Chimulirenji, the dethroned State vice-president following the nullification of the presidential election, for the stay order to automatically reverts to his position, have been dashed.
The Constitutional Court judgement saw Saulos Chilima retaining the position of State Vice-President based on May 20 2014 presidential election when he paired with Mutharika as his running mate. The court also maintained Mutharika as President based on that 2014 ticket.
After falling out with Mutharika, Chilima went on to form UTM Party although he remained vice-president and contested for the presidency in the disputed May 21 2019 presidential election in which Mutharika was controversially declared winner.
Mutharika and MEC want to persuade the seven-judge panel of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal in the substantive appeal matter to overturn the Constitutional Court’s judgement, which if successful, would see him continuing governing Malawi.
The President argues that judges of the lower court erred in law in abandoning settled principles of law governing the annulment of a disputed election or effect of an irregularity on the overall result of an election as pronounced by the Supreme Court in a number of cases he cited.
Mutharika argues the judges erred in law and in fact in holding that in the 2019 presidential election, there was an undue return and an undue election of the first appellant without any evidence of alternative results showing that the returned results of the election of the first appellant to the office of President of the Republic were false.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :