Vice President Saulos Chilima has applied to Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda to have the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) case heard before the Constitutional Court.
Khumbo Soko, one of the lawyers for Chilima, said they met with Lilongwe High court registrar and presiding judge of the case, Ruth Chinangwa to prepare files for the case to be forwarded to the Chief Justice to decide on the matter.
“This is a Constitutional matter because it touches much on the Constitutional issues,” he said.
The Constitutional case number 1 of 2020 filed in the High Court in Lilongwe Registry on March 26 2020 has Chilima as first claimant and MP for Ntcheu west Symone Salambula as second petitioner, with President Peter Mutharika as first defendant while Ansah and all eight commissioners are second to 10th defendants.
In the court records, Chilima and MP Salambula argue that Mutharika’s refusal to fire Ansah and other commissioners after Parliament, the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of Appeal found them incompetent is illegal and unconstitutional.
“A declaration that Ansah and her commissioners “having been found lacking capacity and competence by a competent body through a process that have not challenges, they are disqualified under law from continuing in office as commissioners.”
The two further argue that Ansah and her team’s continued discharge of the electoral body’s mandate is and would be a violation of the voters right to a credible election.
Ansah, a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, has defiantly refused to step down.
Other commissioners, the Reverent Clifford Baloyi, the Reverend Killion Mgawi, Elvey Mtafu, Moffat Banda, Yahaya M’madi, Linda Kunje and Jean Mathanga have also refused to resign for their role in presiding over a flawed electoral process.
However, Commissioner Mary Nkosi has proceeded to leave pending expiry of her tenure next month.
On Tuesday, commissioner Mathanga defiantly said she would not quit until her term of office expires on June 2.
The Supreme Court upheld a Constitutional Court ruling that the May 21, 2019 elections were marred with widespread anomalies and irregularities and faulted MEC commissioners for being incompetent.
President Mutharika has rejected a recommendation from parliament to fire the commissioners.
On April 1 2020 MEC chief elections officer Sam Alfandika told Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee that the commission wrote President Peter Mutharika to consider hiring new commissioners as the current ones’ tenure is expiring on June 5.
Legal scholars have since asked Mutharika to enhance the credibility of the forthcoming fresh presidential election by replacing the rotten commissioners.
A professor of law at Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, Garton Kamchedzera said it is in the best interest of Malawians for the President to appoint a new commission.
He said Ansah and her commissioner will “prejudice elections” if they continue staying in office.
Section 75 (4) of the Constitution states that a member of the Electoral Commission may be removed from office by the President on the recommendation of the Public Appointments Committee on the grounds of incapacity or incompetence in the performance of the duties of that office.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :