Malawian President Peter Mutharika has described the Constitutional Court ruling that nullified his presidency as “a serious miscarriage of justice” and an “attack on the foundations of the country’s democracy”.
Mutharika told AFP that he plans to appeal the court ruling which has been praised by the opposition as landmark.
After six months of hearings, five judges of the High Court sitting as the Constitutional Court in Lilongwe, ruled on Monday that President Mutharika was “not duly elected,” citing systematic widespread irregularities.
Peaking through his spokesperson, Mutharika described the ruling as “a serious miscarriage of justice and an attack on the foundations of the country’s democracy” without indicating when Mutharika will be filing an appeal with the Supreme Court of Appeal.
However, the 79-year-old president has up to six weeks to appeal.
On Tuesday, Lazarus Chakwera, the leader of the main opposition Malawi Congress Party, who came a close second to Mutharika, hailed the landmark verdict as a victory for democracy and Africa.
“It is democracy that has won. It is Malawi that has won. It is Africa that has won. And now justice has been served,” said Chakwera in front of thousands of his supporters who thronged MCP’s headquarters in Lilongwe.
Mutharika was declared the winner of the May 21 election with 38.5 percent of the vote, Chakwera losing by just 159,000 votes. Chakwera went to court to challenge the result.
Mutharika, whose party has called for calm and peace, is yet to address the nation.