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APM 2019 Election Nullified, Court Orders Fresh Polls In 150 Days

Chilima: Back in presidency Chilima: Back in presidency File Photo

The Constitutional Court has nullified the May 21, 2019 presidential election on the basis of widespread irregularities and has ordered fresh elections within 150 days.

The court has further ordered that a president of Malawi has to be elected by a majority vote through the 50+1 (proportional representation) as opposed to the first-past-the-post.

The order of the court now implies that UTM President Dr. Saulos Chilima returns into office as vice president of the Republic of Malawi in office with President Peter Mutharika with whom he won the presidency in May 21, 2019 elections.

The court has also ordered that within 21 days, parliament should ensure an enabling environment for the elections to use the 50+1 system.

After eleven hours of pronouncement of what president judge Healy Potani said was a summary judgment, the five judges of the constitutional court rose to retire after 61 days of work.

The full judgment, according to judge Potani, is 500 pages long.

After meandering in the nitty gritties of the case, arguments and counter arguments brought before it, the constitutional court has also given directions changing a position of the Supreme Court, a development that has taken many experts unawares including some lawyers.

The judges arrived at court in Lilongwe in two millitary armoured vehicles around 8:30 in the morning showers of Monday with a helicopter hovering over the skies of the courts.
 
The pronouncement of the summary verdict was punctuated by two breaks one 15 minutes and the other one hour long.
 
Lead lawyer for Dr. Chakwera, Modecai Msiska has described the ruling as "what he expected" and advised young people to strive to do what is right if the country is to move forward.
 
On his part, Dr. Chilima's lead lawyer, Dr. Chikosa Silungwe said it was clear that the election that was in dispute was littered with too many irregularities for any court to uphold its results.
 
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Last modified on Monday, 03/02/2020

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