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Court to rule on Mangochi poll case on May 28

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WILL HE SMILE AGAIN? — Harrison (right) with his lawyer Kosamu

The Supreme Court of Appeal will on May 28 deliver its ruling on whether Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) was justified to appeal against a judgement of the High Court which had nullified the parliamentary election for Mangochi West Constituency.

Independent aspiring Member of Parliament, Simeon Harrison, dragged Mec to court for allegedly erroneously declaring Democratic Progressive Party’s Geoffrey Chiwondo winner.

Harrison’s lawyer, Wester Kosamu, confirming the date of the judgement, said he was satisfied with his case so far.

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“Yes the date is May 28. We presented the best case on our part but it is up to the court to decide,” Kosamu said.

Last year, Judge Sylvester Kalembera of the High Court nullified the Mangochi West parliamentary election in which Mec had declared Chiwondo winner. The judge ordered a rerun in the process.

Kalembera said Mec failed to conduct the election in accordance with the law.

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He also noted that both Harrison, who had moved the courts, and Chiwondo, claimed that their votes were at some point tampered with.

“Even Mec Chief Election Officer’s testimony in his deposition was a clear manifestation of failure by the commission to conduct the election as expected,” the judge said.

The highlight of the litigation in the High Court was when Francis Maleka, who was Mec’s own Constituency Returning Officer for Mangochi West, told the court that contrary to what the commission declared that Chiwondo had won, it was in fact Harrison who won the election.

But Mec appealed against the High Court judgement and went on to ask the Supreme Court to suspend the judgement until the appeal is completed.

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