The Malawi Law Society (MLS) has said there is no need to stop Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) from announcing the winner of the May 21 presidential elections.
This follows Malawi Law Society’s announcement made on Sunday that it will be part of the election injunction case in which the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) stopped MEC from announcing results of Tuesday’s polls.
According to MLS president Burton Chigo Mhango, the society argued in court that MEC has a quasi-judicial function to resolve electoral complaints on its own and its role to resolve complaints is part of determination of the result of an election.
Mhango said if any party is dissatisfied with MEC’s determination it is entitled to appeal or review before the High Court and that the electoral dispute resolution processes if resorted to ought to be taken out and completed within 24 days at the High Court.
He continued to say if a person is declared winner of a presidential election, he ought to take oath to be administered within 30 days after election.
“Therefore at law: There is no need to suspend MEC processes once the electoral process is in motion. There is no need for swearing in of any declared winner before the 24 days for dispute resolution provided at High Court level.
“We therefore asked the Court to give directions that enable the complaint handling processes at MEC and High Court to be exhausted without interfering with the functions of MEC while recognising the need to exhaust the full dispute resolution mechanism at MEC and High Court,” said Mhango.
MLS also asked the Court not to allow the Constitution and PPEA to be used as engines of alleged fraud or irregularities if the dispute resolution process is not allowed to be exhausted.
Meanwhile, the court has reserved its decision, but has undertaken to deliver the ruling within a reasonable time.
MCP is demanding a recount of the votes saying there were glaring irregularities during the elections on May 21.
An update MEC released on Wednesday showed that President Peter Mutharika was leading with MCP presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera coming second.