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President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has appointed four new commissioners of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) in compliance with the High Court ruling that nullified the appointment of four others.

Francis Kasaila: New MEc Commissioner Francis Kasaila: New MEc Commissioner

Making it into the list are two former cabinet ministers and parliamentarians Francis Kasaila and Emmanuel Fabiano, who have been nominated by the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), alongside Caroline Mfune.

MCP has filled it's remaining third slot with Richard Chapweteka.

The four have replaced Linda Kunje, Jean Mathanga, Steven Duwa, and Arthur Nathuru all DPP- sponsored whose appointments were nullified on the basis that the former ruling party exceeded it's recommended three slots.

According to the law, the DPP and the then opposition MCP were supposed to have equal representation in the commission of three each.

The four have joined MCP’s other commissioners Anthony Mukumbwa and Olivia Liwewe who were spared when the High Court removed DPP-sponsored commissioners, with Justice Chifundo Kachale as Chairperson.

On June 2, Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda, in the case of Malawi Congress Party and President of the Republic of Malawi, ruled that Mathanga, Kunje, Duwa and Nathuru were not duly appointed and ordered fresh nominations from the affected two parties within 10 days.

In the case, the four fired commissioners were cited as interested parties.

Delivering the judgment, Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda described the conduct of former president Peter Mutharika in the appointment of the 2020 cohort of commissioners as full of “impunity”.

He observed that Mutharika, as the appointing authority, deliberately flouted the law by tilting the balance of power in the commission in the favour of his party.

The judge also clarified that the firing of the four commissioners does not in any way affect the decisions they have undertaken during their tenure, including management of the fresh presidential election and several by-elections.

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