Speaker of Parliament To Address Press Thursday on ConCourt Orders

Speaker: To outline the hows of the order Speaker: To outline the hows of the order File Photo

Speaker of Parliament, Catherine Gotani Hara, has called for a media briefing Thursday apparently to outline how the house is going to respond to Monday orders by the Constitutional Court which was hearing the presidential election dispute.

This follows a Wednesday adhoc meeting of the business committee of parliament in Lilongwe where members discussed and came up with resolutions for the coming meeting of the house initially meant to be a mid-year review of the national budget.

Among the likely items to come up on the order paper will be the orders of the court on Monday in respect of preparations for a fresh presidential election in 150 days.

In its orders and directions, the constitutional court has ordered Parliament to legislate the possibility of a run-off in the event of failure to achieve 50+1 in the fresh election and also review possible reconstitution of the MEC.

There have been so many developments in Malawi since the Monday ruling with the latest being an announcement by President Peter Mutharika that he has instructed his lawyers to file an appeal, in the Supreme Court of Appeal, challenging the ruling.

Presidential press secretary, Mgeme Kalilani, told Zodiak Online, that President Mutharika and his lawyers have gone through the text of the judgment which is “a very serious miscarriage of justice, a threat to democracy and an attempt to circumvent the will of the people” hence the decision to challenge it.

The position of the Mutharika is that the Constitutional Court acted outside its’ domain “and against the principle of separation of powers by ordering Parliament to amend some laws to agree with its judgement.

“The court acted against jurisprudence principals by purporting to overturn a Supreme Court decision on the definition of majority in the Malawi electoral process to accommodate their judgement,” Kalilani said in apparent reaction to the court order that the next election should adopt the 50+1 electoral system.

According to President Mutharika, the appeal case will also be premised on his view that the Constitutional Court erred in its views on how the law applies to the facts of the matter that was before it and that in some instances, the court “made determinations on matters that were not before it.

“There was an incoherent and inconsistent application of the rationale and basis for the nullification of the presidential results. There was selective justice in the same that the court treated the presidential results as unacceptable while the Parliamentary results as acceptable when both results came from the same process which they faulted and admonished,” Kalilani said.

On Monday, the constitutional court ordered the nullification of the May 21 presidential election on grounds of massive irregularities which it said managers of the poll, Malawi Electoral Commission ignored.

Mutharika was declared winner of the 2019 election with 38.6% of the vote 158, 000 more than what MCP presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera managed to amass. The court case was not about rigging

Petitioners in the case, Chakwera and Dr. Saulos Chilima of UTM have described the ruling phenomenal and evidence of a maturing and progressive democracy.

But Mutharika press secretary says: “The judgement should not be allowed to stand as it is and he has instructed his team of lawyers to go and appeal and challenge the constitutional court ruling”.

The judges concluded MEC has been incompetent as it failed on multiple dimensions thereby ordering a fresh election within 150 days, adding that status of the presidency returns to what it was before May 21, 2019: President Mutharika as incumbent and Dr. Chilima as the Vice President.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 05/02/2020

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