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Court dismisses Chikomeni’s bid

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By Jameson Chauluka:

NOT GIVING UP—Chikomeni carries a baby after the court session

The High Court in Blantyre has dismissed Ras David Chikomeni Chirwa’s application to grant him a mandatory injunction allowing Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) to give him more time to secure remaining signatories for his presidential bid and his request for the commission to revise nomination fees for presidential aspirants down from K2 million.

High Court Judge, Jack Nriva, dismissed Chikomeni’s application, saying he delayed in taking the issue to court since Mec announced the nomination fees in July 2018.

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He also said granting Chikomeni an extension would be prejudicial and derail the whole electoral calendar ahead of the May 21 Tripartite Elections.

Chikomeni’s lead lawyer, Chikondi Chijozi, said she would liaise with her client on the way forward.

Chikomeni, who was in the company of his mother and running mate-designate and another disqualified presidential aspirant Smart Swira, said he would fight on for the rights of the poor.

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“I will not give up. I will fight on until the rights of the poor are respected. Rich people want to be sharing big positions among themselves while the majority of the poor are suffering,” he said.

Chikomeni also wants the court, at a later stage, to determine that it is not necessary for Mec to demand that presidential aspirants seek nominators in all districts, saying one can become president even after being voted by few districts.

Nriva has committed to the constitutional court questions on the necessity of presidential aspirants to get nominators in all the districts and whether the K2 million nomination fees were discriminatory.

David Banda, Mec Director of Legal Services, who was representing the commission alongside Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale, welcomed the ruling.

“To begin with, he didn’t deserve the injunction but we are happy because granting him the injunction would have derailed our calendar,” he said.

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