ConCourt Adjourns to 19 December
The High Court of Malawi sitting as the Constitutional Court in Lilongwe on Friday finalized hearing the high profile Presidential Election petition after sitting for 59 days.
Last to take to the witness box was Malawi Electoral Commission Head of ICT Muhabi Chisi, who was cross-examined by lawyers for first respondent Peter Mutharika on Thursday.
But in a twist of events, Friday morning, lawyers for both petitioners Saulos Chilima and Lazarus Chakwera told the court that they will not cross-examine Chisi, which was followed suit by MEC lawyer, Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale.
Before adjournment, President Judge Healy Potani outlined the way forward on the case.
“Moving forward, lawyers for first and second petitioners should file and serve written submissions to the court and both respondents before 4:30 pm on 10 December 2019,” Judge Potani said.
“Lawyers for first and second respondents should file and serve their submissions on 14 December 2019 before 4:30.”
Judge Potani added that lawyers for both petitioners will then have to file their written responses before 4:30 on 16 December.
The court will reconvene on 19 December for hearing of oral submissions from all parties up to 20th December.
Both petitioners and both respondents have been given 3 hours each to make their oral submissions, according to Judge Potani while the petitioners have been given 1 hour each to reply to the respondent’s submissions.
Friends of the court, including Women Lawyers Association (WLA) and Malawi Law Society (MLS), have one hour each to make their submissions.
President Judge Potani said the 5 judge panel court will make its decision based on evidence brought before it and relevant laws and not necessarily with influence from external forces including public opinion.