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Court rejects MLS, WLA applications

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A panel of seven Supreme Court of Appeal judges has dismissed Malawi Law Society (MLS) and Women Lawyers (WLA) applications to join Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) fresh presidential election appeal case as friends of the court.

MLS and WLA had applied to the Supreme Court to be party to the hearing of the case.

However, the court said the two law bodies were supposed to state their position when they were applying and not to improvise their applications along the way.

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In reaction, MLS Executive Secretary, Martha Kaukonde, said: “Malawi Law Society will be following the court case just like the rest of the people who will be following the case.”

The court has also granted an application made by media houses to broadcast live, hearing of the case.

Lawyer representing UTM, Khumbo Soko, said the court’s decision was fair.

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“I applaud the court for giving Malawians a chance to follow the proceedings through live audio broadcasts,” he said.

The panel of judges said media houses are expected to broadcast the court proceedings only with audio and they should broadcast in full without censorship or editing.

The court has since warned that if broadcasting houses breach the condition, they will be chucked out.

The court has also granted the nod to Peter Mutharika and Mec’s application to amend their grounds of appeal.

Last week, the panel of judges unanimously threw out an appeal by Mec to be granted a stay order following the Constitutional Court’s ruling of February 3 2020 that fresh presidential election should be held within 150 days from the day of the judgement.

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