President Peter Mutharika says he will remain the sworn leader of this country until the successor comes in warning of treason if anyone undermines this.
In his recorded State of Nation Address (SONA) delivered in Parliament on Friday, June 5, 2020, the president was blunt he was holding to power through a mandate he got from the people after the ballot.
“I was voted by the people as President exactly through the same process that voted for every Member of Parliament and ward councillors. And I was sworn in as President of this country,” the 80-year-old leader said.
“Section 83 of The Constitution of Malawi prescribes the foundational constitutional order of this country,” he said.
According to Section 83, ‘The President shall hold office for five years from the date that his or her oath of office was administered, but shall continue in office until his or her successor has been sworn in.’
Mutharika issued a dire warning that there can never be a power vacuum in the presidency and that he will continue to wield power until he hands over the sword-of-command to his successor – who will be duly elected – whenever that will be.
“Those of you who are plotting otherwise will be undermining the constitutional order and therefore committing treason,” he warned.
His comments come amidst claims from opposition to consider having a presidential council after July 3 to manage the transition until fresh presidential elections.
In his presentations during a seminar on the fresh presidential election organised by civil society organisations (CSOs) in Lilongwe, lawyer Justin Dzonzi warned that the office of the President will be deemed vacant if no fresh election is conducted within the period prescribed by the five-judge panel of the High Court of Malawi sitting as the ConCourt.
On his part, Garton Kamchedzera, who is a professor of law at Chancellor College—a constituent college of the University of Malawi, corroborated, saying his reading of the law is that if there is no election by July 3, then it will create a vacancy in the presidency and the country will then have to hold elections within 60 days.
In his address, Mutharika challenged legislators to decide whether to hold elections or postpone until the coronavirus pandemic is managed.
“Let us admin we have a dilemma between going to an election too soon or preventing the spreading of coronavirus.
“As a nation, we need to make a collective decision. This parliament must make its voice heard before the people,” he said.
He said “Parliament is more supreme above the Courts” because members are elected to represent the people with the authority to make laws for the Judiciary to interpret.
In his address titled; “Balancing Development and Politics: Renewing Our Love for Our Country”, Mutharika tackled a number of issues affecting Malawians and how his government continues to address them in order to better the lives of the citizenry.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :