… Tells Chakwera to condemn statement
The Constitutional Court has given Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) five days to complete its exercise of recording statements from presiding officers.
The court has also ordered Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera to distance himself from the statement which MCP released earlier this month asking its supporters and all Malawians to attack MEC lawyers.
MCP and UTM are challenging the results of the May 21 elections which were managed by MEC.
The electoral body last week applied to the court asking it to extend by 14 days the period for collecting information from presiding officers saying the process was disrupted by MCP supporters.
MEC also applied for an injunction to restrain Malawi Congress Party and UTM supporters from disrupting MEC’s meetings with presiding officers and for MCP to withdraw the statement.
In its ruling today read by Justice Dingiswayo Madise, the court gave MEC lawyers five days including weekends to complete the exercise of recording statements.
The court also ordered the Malawi Police Service to provide security to MEC lawyers during the exercise.
However, the court said it cannot issue an injunction against people who attacked the MEC lawyers because the court order would be impractical.
On the MCP statement which was released by MCP spokesperson Maurice Munthali, the court said the statement was careless and unfortunate. It also condemned MCP lawyer Titus Mvalo for being indifferent to the statement which was calling on people to attack MEC lawyers.
The court then ordered MCP president Chakwera to condemn the statement within 24 hours
As a result of the extension for MEC, the court has said that trial for the election case – which was expected to start on July 29 – will now begin on August 8.
According to the court, the plan is to conduct hearing for the case for 10 days and proceedings will be taking place from 9AM to 5PM on each day with a two hour lunch break.