Chilima to go to court if elections are delayed

…Says Mutharika should not fear elections

Vice President Saulos Chilima says he will go to court if the fresh presidential elections are not held by the end of the 150 days ordered by the courts.

Chilima made the remarks at Gymkhana Ground in Zomba during a Tonse Alliance rally on Saturday.

The Tonse Alliance runningmate was reacting to remarks by President Peter Mutharika who said on Friday that he was sworn in as president and will remain president until a successor comes in. Mutharika warned that those plotting otherwise will be undermining the constitutional order and therefore committing treason.

In his speech on Saturday, Chilima challenged that he will go to court if the elections are not held within 150 days from February 3, the day the 2019 presidential elections were nullified by the Constitutional Court.

Chilima also said that Mutharika should not fear the elections since the president already accepted that there will be elections this year and he (Mutharika) also presented his nominations papers for the fresh elections.

“Malawians want elections and the polls will be held,” he Chilima.

On attacks against judges, Chilima reminded Mutharika that results of the 2014 elections were announced after a court ruling. Following the ruling, Mutharika and Chilima were sworn in as president and vice president respectively at court premises.

“Today Mr Mutharika is attacking judges yet he was sworn at the court to assume the position that he is now using to oppress Malawians,” said Chilima.

Mutharika was declared winner in the 2019 elections but the High Court nullified the elections and ordered fresh elections in 150 days from February 3, 2020.

The Supreme Court agreed, saying the 2019 polls were littered with serious and troubling irregularities.

However, in his State of the Nation Address on Friday, Mutharika said the court failed to show or prove that irregularities affected the result of the election.

He also warned Parliament – which is expected to set a date for the fresh election –  against going to an election “too soon” due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mutharika said Parliament should not agree with every judgement that comes from the Courts but should hold the courts accountable.