Ras Chikomeni to appeal against ruling barring his 2019 presidential bid


Presidential hopeful Ras David Chikomeni Chirwa says he will appeal against the high court ruling barring his candidacy in the May 21 tripartite elections.

The high court in Blantyre on Monday dismissed Ras Chikomeni’s injunction seeking redress following Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) rejection of his candidacy.

Ras Chikomeni with his running mate, his mother: His nomination papers were rejected

Speaking soon after the judgment, Ras Chikomeni Chirwa said he will continue pursuing the matter for the benefit of poor Malawians intending to contest as presidential candidates in future elections.

“Up until my rights have been heard and respected it’s when I will stop pursuing this case.” said Ras Chikomeni Chirwa who was represented by lawyers Chikondi Chijozi, Mauya Msuku and Oscar Taulo.

He added:” I will continue fighting for ordinary Malawians so that their rights are not being violated and that are given a chance to contest as presidential aspirants in future elections without any hurdles”.

Delivering his judgment, Judge Jack N’riva said Ras Chikomeni Chirwa delayed in approaching the court after MEC rejected his candidacy.

Judge N’riva said Chikomeni Chirwa was guilty of delays as he was supposed to go to court soon after the rejection of his presidential bid.

On the extension of the nomination period, Judge N’riva argued that the move was likely going to affect the electoral calendar and some logistics ahead of the elections hence dismissing the application.

The court has since referred the issue of obtaining 10 signatures for presidential candidates in all the country’s 28 districts to the Chief Justice saying it was a constitutional matter to be handled by a three-judge panel.

MEC lawyer David Matumika Banda representing the Attorney General (AG) welcomed the ruling, saying the application could have negatively affect preparations for the May 21 tripartite elections.

The country’s chief pollster rejected Ras David Chikomeni Chirwa on February 6 after he failed to comply with the requirement to pay presidential fee of K2 million and raise 10 signatures each from the country’s 28 districts, of which he managed from nine districts only.

One of the presidential hopefuls who was also rejected by MEC Smart Swila attended the judgment proceedings saying he was ready to join the case as friends of court if the matter continues.