Malawi Electoral Commission finally closed the presentation of nomination papers on Friday, February 8 at 4 am after receiving 10 nomination papers but Ras David Chikomeni failed to show up on Friday as advised as he is pursuing the matter in the High Court of Malawi with assistanceof lawyers hired by Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance (Chreaa).
Chikomeni was sent back on Wednesday after he failed to pay K2 million nomination fees as well as getting all the needed 10 signatures per district for endorsement as presidential candidates.
In an interview on Thursday, Chikomeni made a frantic plea to well-wishers to give him the K2 million and asked those who took the forms in the districts to send him through whatsapp the signatures.
“I need them fast, fast and fast please,” said Chikomeni, the only presidential candidate who had his supporters filling the Comesa hall in Blantyre where the presentation ceremony of the nomination papers took place since Monday.
But Judge Healey Potani declined to grant the injunction ex-parte and advised the applicants’ lawyers to serve the summons on MEC so that both parties are heard before an injunction is issued.
The court has set February 18 for the inter-partes hearing where MEC is expected to meet Chikomeni Chirwa again, this time around not at Comesa Hall in Blantyre, but to battle it out legally in a court of law.
Chreaa feels the K2 milion nomination fee MEC is too exorbitant for most Malawians and it means that only people who are rich can contest for the presidency.
Damiano Ganiza was the last to appear before the Malawi Electoral Commission but his nomination papers were rejected because, among other issues, he failed to provide evidence of English proficiency.
He later accused MEC of double standards, saying the pollster could have given him time to get the evidence.
It transpired that in 2009, his presidential bid was rejected because of lack of English proficiency.
He appeared before the commission soon after president Peter Mutharika presented his nomination papers along with his running mate Everton Chimulirenji.
But there was drama at the Comesa hall as Florence Fulaye whose papers were rejected on Thursday refused to leave the hall unless MEC accepted her papers.
Her papers were rejected because she failed to pay the K2 million nomination fee and failed to get the 10 signatures endorsement per district among others.
Police officers surrounded her and forced her out of the Comesa hall.
At least 10 presidential candidates have presented their nomination papers to MEC, three of them rejected by MEC which means Malawi will have seven presidential candidates, only one an independent presidential candidate.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :