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Cassim Chilumpha dealt blow

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By Emmanuel Chirwa:

The High Court in Blantyre has barred presidential candidate Cassim Chilumpha from contesting on Tikonze People’s Movement’s (TPM) ticket.

The ruling was made Thursday in Blantyre.

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Lawyer representing TPM, Maziko Sauti Phiri, said TPM wrote Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) urging them to disqualify Chilumpha from contesting on the party’s ticket, saying his candidature was not authorised by the party and that Chilumpha was not an elected candidate for the party.

But Mec responded that Chilumpha was within the law to contest on the movement’s ticket.

TPM took the matter to the High Court, which made the ruling in its favour.

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“Now, Honourable Cassim Chilumpha will not contest on the party’s ticket and that clears the anomaly that was there as Tikonze People’s Movement made an electoral alliance with Alliance for Democracy (Aford) and UTM where it endorsed Honourable Saulos Chilima as its presidential candidate,” he said.

Mec lawyer, David Banda, confirmed the development but said the commission would make a stand on the matter when the court gives reasons for the ruling today.

“It’s true the court has disqualified Cassim Chilumpha but the commission has not made a stand on the matter. The reasons the court has made the ruling will be contained in a detailed report which will be delivered tomorrow by midday. Till then, the commission cannot make a stand,” he said.

Chilumpha was not present at the court and could not be reached on his mobile line.

However, there is an air of uncertainty on what will happen next because the process of ballot paper printing is in progress in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Chilumpha, who is founder of Alliance for Democracy and Development, and five other political parties, formed TPM which made an electoral alliance with UTM.

After the shortlived alliance, Chilumpha dumped it and presented his nomination papers contesting for the seat of president on TPM ticket.

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