An election watchdog has called on the government to swiftly consider setting up a poll court, saying the two and half years the conventional court has taken to hand down an elections case ruling is defeat for democracy.
Malawi Electoral Support Network chairperson Steve Duwa said the delay for the courts to make a ruling on Lilongwe south east elections case is reason enough to speed up in the setting of the court.
“This case has shown that we need to have this special case now than ever before. This case has shown that our courts prioritise other cases to election cases,” he said. The Supreme Court has ruled that there should be a rerun in Lilongwe south east constituency, effectively firing incumbent legislator Bentry Namasasu of the Democratic Progressive Party after a two and half legal battle put up by Malawi Congress Party parliamentary challenger, Ulemu Msungama.
State spies, National Intelligence Bureau officers allegedly burnt to ashes a Malawi Electoral Commission warehouse in Lilongwe after a High Court ruling for a vote recount.
“Electoral cases need to be handled swiftly. And at MESN, we believe that the proposed court would help to speed up such cases,” Duwa said.
Blessings Chinsinga, a political commentator said the setting up of the elections court would nurture the young but vibrant democracy.
“Two and half years is just too long for democracy to wait for such a landmark ruling,” he said.
However, Jane Ansah, MEC chaiperson says this was an isolated complicated case, saying much of the elections cases were disposed off from courts soon after the elections.
The government says it has no money hold the rerun, the first of its kind in the history of the country.