The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has argued that the presidential elections case was a mistrial saying the five Constitutional Court judges should have stopped hearing the case after being offered a K100 million bribe.
According to the MEC, the elections case should be reheard by an impartial court.
The commission presented its arguments on Friday in a Notice of Appeal against the Constitutional Court ruling that nullified the 2019 presidential elections.
Weeks before the verdict was delivered, it was revealed that there were attempts to bribe the five Constitutional court judges in October last year when hearing was underway.
Businessperson Thom Mpinganjira was arrested last month in connection to the bribery attempts. He is now on bail.
On Monday, the court nullified the polls and ordered the commission to conduct fresh elections
In its appeal filed on Friday, MEC said the judges erred by continuing to hear the matter and deliver judgement despite getting knowledge of the attempts to compromise the court with financial inducements.
“[The knowledge about the bribery] would have tended to produce in the court or the affected judges feelings of apparent or actual bias or prejudice for or against one side of the matter so as to render them unfit to continue to hear the case,” MEC said.
The commission also argued that the judges should have disclosed the bribery attempts to the respondents and petitioners in the case for the parties’ action or motions on the suitability of the judges to continue hearing the case.
The commission in its notice then asked the Supreme Court of Appeal to find that the continued hearing by the five judges and delivery of judgement despite getting knowledge of bribery attempts amounts to mistrial.
MEC added that the Supreme Court should rule that the matter should be reheard by an impartial court.
Hearing for the application to set aside the judgement will be on Tuesday.