In a statement made available to MBC, MEC Chief Elections Officer Sam Alfandika said that the High Court ruled the commission committed an error of law because nomination papers of Chilumpha had irregularities.
He said Chilumpha did not challenge the matter in court.
“Pursuant to the requirements of the law that governs nomination of candidates for presidential elections, the implication of the above Court’s decision is that Rt. Hon. Dr. Chilumpha’s nomination has been rendered invalid,” Alfandika said in the statement.
“The Commission has, therefore, struck off his name from the list of candidates duly nominated for election for the office of the President of the Republic of Malawi.”
MEC said it will not challenge the court’s decision and that if Chilumpha was not satisfied with the ruling he can lodge for an appeal himself.
Chilumpha, one of the highly trained lawyers in the country, has however, blamed the court for making the determination in his absence, but ruled out appealing, saying he was not part of the case.
“The Judge [Mike Tembo] should not have made such a decision in my absence,” said Chilumpha. “Natural justice means the person that you are arguing with should be given a chance to be heard.”
TPM was formed late last year following the merger of six political parties namely Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (Mafunde), Peoples Progressive Movement (PPM), New Labour Party (NLP), Republican Party (RP), Malawi Democratic Party (MDP) and Assembly for Democracy and Development (ADD) which was founded by Chilumpha.
If Chilumpha does not contest as per the court determination, it will mean that the 6.8 million registered voters will have seven presidential candidates to choose from when they queue to vote on May 21 2019.
MEC is currently printing ballot papers in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.