Court gives Mec five extra days
By Faith Kadzanja:
The Constitutional Court has granted Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) an extension of five days to collect information from officers who presided over the May 21 Tripartite Elections.
The extension means the elections case will now start on August 8 2019 as opposed to the previously proposed July 29 2019.
Mec had requested for an extension of 14 days to enable it to complete the process.
Reading the judgement Thursday, Justice Dingiswayo Madise said, considering that Mec lawyers were disrupted when they were collecting the information, it would be proper to give them five more days, including weekends.
He said Mec informed the court that some people assaulted its officers when they went to collect information from Kasungu District.
“The evidence-gathering process stopped on July 14  but, for interference, the whole process could have been concluded in time by July 22 2019. On these premises, the court grants the second respondent an extension of five days from the dates, from today, including weekends and public holidays,” he said.
The court also said it learnt with great concern that Malawi Congress Party (MCP) publicity secretary, Maurice Munthali, wrote a letter encouraging presiding officers not to furnish Mec with information.
Madise said it could have been proper for MCP lawyer Titus Mvalo to advise the party against writing such a statement as the case was still in court.
“The MCP president [Lazarus Chakwera] should, within 24 hours, publicity condemn the statement that Reverend Maurice Munthali issued. The statement should be made in the same mediums he used to make the statements,” he said.
Mvalo said he would advise MCP accordingly on what the court has said.
Munthali Thursday said he could not comment on the matter as he was outside the country.
MCP and UTM petitioned the court seeking nullification of elections results citing irregularities which Mec overlooked.
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