The European Union Election Observer Mission (EU EOM) has backtracked on plans to present a report on the 2019 Malawi Elections.
The Mission was arrived in the country today to present the report but it has changed its decision after politicians and other stakeholders protested against the presentation of the report.
In a statement on Wednesday, the EU EOM said: The report will neither be shared nor published until after the court decision on the elections. What counts at this time is that all actors remain calm and respect the ongoing legal process before the court.”
On Tuesday, UTM leader Saulos Chilima who was also a presidential candidate in the May 21 elections said the matter of the disputed elections is before the Constitutional Court which is expected to deliver its judgment next month hence he found it inappropriate for the mission to present its report at this time.
“It must be obvious to both the delegation and the mission that comprehensive reports on the tripartite elections in light of the litigation that has since ensued.
“The intended presentation of the report is careless and amounts to extra-judicial gimmick to meddle with and influence pending litigation. I condemn this in strongest terms,” said Chilima.
He then asked the mission to postpone the presentation of the report until judgment in the elections case is delivered saying it the only reasonable thing to do.
The Malawi Law Society also asked the European Union to present its report after the Constitutional Court saying the mission risked falling foul of the subjudice rule if it did so before the ruling.
MLS chairperson Burton Mhango said: “[The presentation could play as] a catalyst to potential public unrest on issues concerning the presidential elections and possibly places your institution in breach of your duty under section 110 of the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act not to interfere in, or impede the normal course of the election.”
In the elections case, Chilima and Malawi Congress Party president Lazarus Chakwera want the court to nullify the results the May 21 elections and order the Malawi Electoral Commission to conduct fresh polls.