Chilima takes President Mutharika to court for refusing to fire embattled Malawi electoral body chair Ansah, commissioners
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Malawi vice-president who is also the UTM Party leader Saulos Chilima on Wednesday, March 25, commenced legal proceedings against President Peter Mutharika for failing to fire embattled Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah and other commissioners whom the Constitution Court (CoCourt) declared incompetent to manage an election.
This follows after President Mutharika last week hinted that would not fire the MEC commissioners when he rejected a recommendation from parliament’s Public Affairs Committee.
Mutharika even refused to assent to election-related bills that would have facilitated the holding of fresh presidential polls on May 19.
Chilima however is not taking the matter lightly as he has sought for court relief to restrain MEC commissioners from discharging their duties in preparing for the fresh elections.
Chilima’s lawyer, Dr Chikosa Silungwe said his team has filed with the court and they are waiting to hear on Thursday when the matter will heard.
“We have filed a case against the commissioners in their individual capacities,” he said.
UTM spokesman Joseph Chidanti Malunga said Chilima is asking the Court to determine whether it is lawful for Ansah to continue holding her position as chairwoman of the electoral body.
“When the court and Parliament have clearly stated that she is incompetent,” Malunga said.
Professor of law at University of Malawi’s Chancellor College, Garton Kamchedzera told The Nation Newspaper that the opposition political parties are free to return to the court and allege that enforcement of the judgement is being frustrated by one of the parties in the elections case who happens to be Mutharika.
“Despite the relevant committee of Parliament finding the commissioners incompetent and making a recommendation that they be removed, Mutharika, a party to the case, has made a decision in his own cause, notwithstanding appealing against the judgement.
“He has decided to reject a recommendation from Parliament that stems from the judgement that has to be implemented. So, his decision to reject the recommendation could be set aside on that ground.”
Meanwhile, enraged alliance partners Malawi Congress Party and UTM Party have organised ‘The Day of Rage’ protests this Friday, March 27, 2020 to exert enough pressure for the adamant group of commissioners to go.
The CoCourt on February 3, 2020 nullified the May 21, 2019 presidential polls due to fraud therefore ordered fresh elections within 150 days.