MEC ordered to take request on suspension of elections to Supreme Court

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has been ordered to file its application for the suspension of electoral activities at the Supreme of Appeal.

MEC applied to the High Court for directions on the commission’s compliance with the February 3 Judgement of the Constitutional Court in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The commission wanted the court to allow for the suspension of the operation of the judgement – which nullified the 2019 elections and ordered the commission to hold fresh elections.

Currently, the commission is conducting voter registrations but there have been calls for the exercise to be suspended due to coronavirus pandemic.

Since the 2020 elections were ordered by the Constitutional Court, MEC applied to the court for the suspension of election activities.

In its ruling on the matter, the High Court said the application should be filed at the Supreme Court because an appeal of the elections case is already being handled by the Supreme Court.

The High Court used Order III of the Supreme Court Rule which states: “After an appeal has been entered, until it has been formally disposed of, the court shall be seized of the whole of the proceedings as between the parties thereto, and except as may be otherwise be provided in this order, every application therein shall be made to the court and not to the court below.”

Meanwhile, MEC lawyer Tamando Chokhotho has told the local media that the commission will take the application to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

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