2020 elections case referred to Chief Justice

The case in which Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wants the 2020 presidential election nullified has been referred to Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda for certification as a Constitutional Court case.

Judge Dingiswayo Madise has made the ruling, saying the case raises serious constitutional issues.

DPP wants President Lazarus Chakwera’s win in the election to be nullified as the party argues that the elections were managed by a commission that included commissioners who were not duly appointed.

Attorney General Chikosa Silungwe said the court should dismiss the case on grounds that DPP sued government without giving a 90-day notice. However, Madise rejected the request.

On its part, the DPP said Judge Madise to recuse himself because he was part of the five judges that nullified the 2019 presidential elections.

Madise in his ruling, referred the case to the Chief Justice who is expected to set up a panel of three to five judges to sit as a constitutional and handle the case.

In the 2020 presidential elections, Tonse Alliance’s Lazarus Chakwera beat DPP’s Peter Mutharika.

Mutharika was the incumbent at the time and he appointed new MEC commissioners weeks before the polls.

The commissioners included four nominated by the DPP and two nominated by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) which is led by Chakwera.

The High Court last month ruled that the law compelled Mutharika to appoint equal number of commissioners from the two parties.

The court then cancelled the appointments of the four DPP commissioners and ordered the DPP to submit three names to the president.

The DPP argues that the results of 2020 presidential elections cannot continue to be valid because the elections were handled by a commission that comprised illegally appointed commissioners.

 

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