Mutharika is not caretaker president – Justice Mwaungulu


…says APM to remain president if no one is elected within 150 days

Supreme Court Judge, Justice Dunstain Mwaungulu, says President Peter Mutharika is not a caretaker president and will remain president until a new leader is sworn in.

Writing on Facebook, Mwaungulu said during the end of tenure of a President, as long as the incumbent president is alive, there is no vacancy in the office of the President. He added that the Constitution allows no vacancy in the office of the president.

He then noted that the Supreme Court that upheld the nullification of the 2019 presidential elections allowed Mutharika to remain in office until a successor is sworn in.

“So much so that even if there is another presidential election because one is annulled, the president remains as president – not caretaker President – until the successor is sworn,” said Mwaungulu.

Malawi is expected to hold fresh presidential elections June 23, 2020. Parliament set the date through a Resolution on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Members of Parliament rejected Constitutional Amendment Bill section (80) which was aimed at setting June 23, 2020 as date for fresh presidential elections.

Minister of Justice Bright Msaka said the opposition side had rejected the fresh presidential polls  and claimed that the Resolution passed on Tuesday is invalid. But the opposition said Parliament already set the date through the Resolution.

On this, Mwaungulu said no one cannot stop the election process.

“Who can stop the election process? No, no one can, no one will. No, not one. Government cannot – through the Minister of Justice – say a) that elections cannot be held – at all b) until there is an amendment and c) because a private members bill was invalid,” wrote Mwaungulu.