Attorney General Chikosa Silongwe has said with firing of two Commissioners of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), Linda Kunje and Jean Mathanga, there is no Electoral Commission and has since advised the remaining Commissioners to stop discharging any duties.
Government fired Kunje and Mathanga on the premise that they were adjudged incompetent by the Supreme Court of Appeal in the Presidential Elections Case.
Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Zanga-Zanga Chikhosi, said following the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal, the two Commissioners’ appointment was rendered defective and did not qualify for re-appointment.
But in a memo to MEC Chairperson, Justice Dr. Chifundo Kachale, Silungwe stated that one of the consequences of the rescission is that there is no Commission in accordance with the Country’s Constitution.
“One of the effects of the rescission of the appointment of the two Commissioners is that there is no Electoral Commission in accordance with section 75(1) of the Constitution.
“My advice is that the remaining members of your cohort should not discharge any duty or power of the Electoral Commission under the Constitution or an Act of Parliament until section 75(1) of the Constitution has been complied with” states Silungwe.
Section 75(1) of the Constitution says “there shall be an Electoral Commission which shall consist Commission of a Chairman who shall be a judge nominated in that behalf by the Judicial Service Commission and such other members , not being less than six, as may be appointed in accordance with an Act of Parliament.”
Kunje and Mathanga were part of the MEC Commissioners, who administered the May 21 Presidential poll being being nullified by the High Court sitting as the Constitution Court.
Meanwhile, the MEC, in line with Silungwe’s advice, has suspended it’s operations until further notice.
The development has occurred at a time when the Commission was in the process of direct engagements with Political Party Leaders in the course of implementing the Boundaries Review and Delimitation Program under its constitutional mandate.
“In view of this development and advice, the Commission has henceforth no legal authority or basis to continue implementing its activities which bcome suspended by operation of the law until further notice.
“The immediate practical implication is that the program of engagement with Political Party Leaders and the entire Boundary Review and Delimitation Programme is likewise suspended, pending the resolution of the current legal quagmire surrounding the composition of the Electoral Commission by the relevant authorities” Kachale.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :