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Court snubs Mec in elections case

By Jameson Chauluka:

The High Court in Blantyre has dismissed Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec)’s application to dismiss a case in which three Malawi Congress Party shadow members of Parliament (MPs) in Chikwawa and Nsanje districts are challenging results of the May 21 parliamentary elections.

In his ruling, Justice Sylvester Kalembera ordered that Mec should produce all the documents it used in the elections in the three constituencies and that the case should return to court on July 29 2019.

“[I order that Mec should produce] original result sheets for all the polling centres in all the three constituencies involved, duly signed by the respondents’ agents and agents of the candidates and or political parties, including those of the petitioners,” the order reads.

Kafandikhale Mandevana of Nsanje Central, Enoch Chizuzu (Nsanje North) and Foster Thipiwa (Chikwawa East) are challenging results of the parliamentary elections.

Although Mec insists that monitors were signing for every results’ sheet in all the constituencies, the aggrieved shadow MPs maintain that their monitors did not sign the documents.

“They have been insisting that our monitors were signing on the results sheets; so, we will see if they will produce those results sheets duly signed by our monitors who will be in court to verify the signatures,” said Wester Kosammu, lawyer for the shadow MPs.

The court has also ordered Mec to produce original tally sheets, counterfoils, log books and register of voters ticked.

In the earlier sitting, Mec’s lawyer Dalitso Mataka asked the court to dismiss the case, saying the three shadow MPs did not have sufficient evidence and that they sued a wrong party as all the polling materials are with the Clerk of Parliament.

Following the elections, Mec declared Francis Kasaila of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in Nsanje Central, Esther Mcheka-Chilenje of Nsanje North (DPP) and Sam Khumbayiwa of United Democratic Front in Chikwawa East winners.

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