President Peter Mutharika on Friday said he is ready for re-election bid in the fresh presidential election but accused the Supreme Court of Appeal of disregarding the Constitution when it upheld a ruling by the Constitutional Court to nullify the 2019 presidential election and order a fresh vote .
Mutharika, Malawi’s president since 2014, won the election last year with a 38.5% share of the vote. Opposition party leader Lazarus Chakwera came second with 35.41% but Constitutional Court judges annulled the vote on February 3 2020, citing irregularities, and ordered a new election within 150 days.
However, Mutharika who maintained that the Constitutional Court ruling was miscarriage of justice, said he was ready to seek fresh mandate for a final five years term through the ballot before embarking on a fraught succession process.
“Yes I am. I am ready for fresh elections,” said Mutharika responding to MBC TV host Vincent Khonyongwa during Talk to the President programme .
He said Supreme Court of Appeal failed to correct the “travesty of justice”, saying people all over the world are laughing at Malawi, saying judges did not follow the evidence, the law and disregarded the Constitution when they upheld a ruling by the Constitutional Court despite not finding evidence of rigging or that the irregularities in the management of the election changed its outcome.
Mutharika further accused the Judiciary of participating in “regime change” activities
“I feel sorry for the future of this country and the future of democracy [following the court precedence],” he said.
He urged Malawians to “vote wisely, look at the issues,” saying, the elections is “ between building this country or destroying this country.
“A choice between moving forward or moving backward.”
Mutharika also said he is “ very concerned” with the coronavirus pandemic and the large gatherings that political campaigns are attracting.
“If the elections will take place am ready to compete,” he said.
Mutharika said he has not been on campaign trail because of the coronavirus threat, saying he was thinking of other means of reaching out to the electorate other than podium politics with large gatherings.
He said it was bizarre that even leader of opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Lazarus Chakwera is so concerned that he is not campaigning on rallies.
“First we have to know when elections will be held and I will figure out that in my diary,” he said.
Mutharika also said he accepted Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah’s resignation, but said it was a complete nonsense to say that Ansah was incompetent.”
The President said Ansah is a “distinguished Malawian patriot” and one of the most learnt judgein the Malawi judiciary.
Mutharika disclosed that he will soon appoint a new MEC chairperson and a team of commissioners to manage the forthcoming fresh presidential election.
He also dismissed allegations that he wouldn’t appoint a new team of commissioners amid concerns that government would use the coronavirus pandemic to avoid the fresh election.
Mutharika said he would abide by the law and appoint a new team by June 5, 2020 the day that the contract of the current commissioners expires.
He added that any decision on whether to hold the election or not will not have any bearing on the appointments.
He further said only Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) will be allowed to submit names of Commissioners.
The law states that only political parties that secured 10 percent of parliamentary seats can submit names of commissioners.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :