MEC clears mist on Green Card: Mutharika was free to contest

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has come out in open disclosing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate, Professor Peter Mutharika would have been allowed to contest in May 20th tripatite elections despite being United States of America’s (USA) Green Card holder.

Tension was high in the country in regards to Mutharika’s Green Card which most legal and political experts considered as an allegiance to USA government and that could not be allowed to contest in the elections based on Constitution provision.

Mutharika was forced to rennounce his Card last week Thursday days before presenting his nomination paper, arguing it was diverting people’s attention from real issues.

Justice Mbendera: Green Card could not have stopped Mutharika
Justice Mbendera: Green Card could not have stopped Mutharikabende

But on Monday MEC Chairperson, Maxon Mbendera SC revealed the Commission had sought legal opinion on the matter from the legal experts including the Attorney General, Anthony Kamanga SC who cleared Mutharika on the issue.

He was speaking during nomination papers presentation by Mutharika and his running-mate, Saulos Chilima at Comesa Hall in Blantyre.

Mbendera said: “The issue of Green Card is no longer a matter in these elections. MEC consulted three independent lagal practitioners including the Attorney General who advised the Commission that the Green Card holder cannot and should not be barred from contesting”.

Mbendera’s disclosure attracted cheers from DPP supporters who, including former first lady, Calista Mutharika screamed for a recap of what he just said.

Nenaninso amve, mubwereze! Say it again, let them hear it!” Calista screamed.

And some of the supporters were heard urging Mutharika to retain the card.

MMbendera hailed MEC’s Commissioners for being silent on the Commission’s verdict on Green Card matter despite the public devided opinion.

“The Commission sought legal opinion just to ensure that our decisions and operations are not driven by malice but are done based on law”.

Mbendera further hailed Mutharika for rennouncing his Green Card to avoid the issue come on his way in the run up to May 20th tripatite elections.

Mutharika has officially unveiled Airtel Malawi Managing Director, Saulos Chilima as his running-mate when he presented nomination papers to MEC at Comesa Hall in Blantyre.

The presentation and acceptance of nomination papers, according to Mbendera is just a preliminary but the Commission will announce names of endorsed candidates in seven days.

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