Malawi supreme court rejects president’s appeal against poll annulment

May 8, 2020
| Report Focus News

Malawi supreme court of appeal has upheld earlier judgement by constitutional Court which nullified the presidential election,  and has ordered that fresh elections be held within the earlier stipulated time of 150 days; saying President Mutharika was unduly elected. 

The Constitutional court on February 3, 2020 nullified the 2019 presidential elections citing several irregularities that included use of correctional fluid, Tippex. 

Reading the judgement, Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda said it was a unanimous decision by seven Judges; Lovemore Chikopa, Justice Edward Twea, Anaclet Chipeta, Anthony Kamanga, Frank Kapanda and Rezine Mzikamanda.

Among others, the Supreme Court has ordered that the fresh presidential election should be conducted using the 2019 voters roll and the same candidates.

“Elections define a lifeline roadmap of the society. We should therefore, avoid at any cost ushering leadership through the process that is fraud because chances are that such a process will not reflect the will of the people,” said Chief Justice Nyirenda

The Chief Justice has further faulted Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), saying the process for the previous elections left alot to be desired, and was an injustice to the country’s democracy. 

He said the sufferings caused by MEC could have been avoided than taking sides.

Nyirenda further said the constitutional court erred in ordering that the fresh elections be heard in 150 days, saying it would have been 60 days. 

The court has therefore, ordered that MEC should pay the costs incurred by the 1st and 2nd respondents ( Lazarous Chakwela and Saulos Chilima) respectively. 

Mutharika denounced the February 3, 2020 judgement by constitutional court, saying the ruling had serious subvention of injustice and an attack to Malawi democratic system, and an attempt to undermine the will of the people.

Mutharika further said the ruling was a serious miscarriage of justice and attack on foundations of the country’s democracy. 

President Mutharika, therefore, refused to assent to the proposed electoral law amendments which required a candidate to amass 50%+1, to secure a win. 

However, the court has upheld the usage of 50%+1 system and will be used in the fresh election as earlier made in the constitutional court.