D-Day as Con-court set to deliver presidential case verdict Feb 3

Written by  MBC Online

Malawi's Constitutional Court has penciled February 3 when it will deliver the verdict on the highly contentious presidential election after months of hearing by petitioners UTM and MCP and respondents President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika and the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), which declared Mutharika the winner.

Justice Ansah: Her MEC declared APM winner. Justice Ansah: Her MEC declared APM winner.
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January

Mutharika was re-elected with 159,000 votes, beating his rivals Lazarus Chakwera of MCP and Saulos Chilima of UTM, who came third.

 

Assistant register of the high court in Lilongwe, in a notice said a panel of five high court judges led by justice Healy Potani, will deliver the much anticipated ruling from 9.09 hrs on February 3.

 

Petitioners had demanded nullification of the presidential vote only, with MCP leader Chakwera claiming he had won the poll while Saulos claimed the vote was fraught with irregularities that saw MEC rig the vote in favour of the incumbent president.

 

Mutharika won by 38.5 percent of the votes, a difference of some 3 percent with Chakwera.


Opposition and HRDC efforts to have MEC Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah resign from her post following the petitions, did not yield any result as Ansah maintained that she could only resign after the court verdict. She said the demands by HRDC were akin to mob justice.

 

But the case had recently a new twist as a top banker and business mogul Thomson Frank Mpinjanjira was arrested and detained by Police for being suspected to have attempted to bribe the judges who heard the case. But the arrest and custody only lasted less than 15 hours as his lawyers obtained a court order with a different magistrate to cancel the arrest and custody order.



Malawi has been under political impasse since the case opened on August 8 last year.

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