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DPP elections case sent to Chief Justice

Justice Andrew Nyirenda

Charles Mhango

High Court Judge Dingiswayo Madise has officially sent the certificate of referral (CoR) to Chief Justice (CJ) Andrew Nyirenda in a case where the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wants the court to nullify results of the June 23 2020 presidential election.

On July 5, Madise ruled that DPP’s application raised serious constitutional questions which had to be addressed by the High Court sitting as a Constitutional Court.

He then gave 14 days to allow the defence to amend its defence before preparing and sending the referral to the CJ.

Registrar of the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal Gladys Gondwe confirmed that Madise prepared the order last Friday but was quick to say it [the CoR) was not before the CJ yet.

“We were supposed to give him Tuesday but we didn’t because of the closure. We will give him the order on Thursday when we open,” she said.

Gondwe could not say the constitutional questions being raised by the DPP, saying she will have to look at the order itself.

DPP lawyer Charles Mhango confirmed being notified that the order was sent to the CJ.

DPP wants the court to nullify results of last year’s presidential election, saying it was managed by commissioners who the court said were illegally appointed by former State president Peter Mutharika.

The court faulted Mutharika for appointing four commissioners— Arthur Nanthuru, Steve Duwa, Jean Mathanga and Linda Kunje— from the DPP while Malawi Congress Party only had two.

Addressing the media at his house in Mangochi District recently, Mutharika described the Tonse Alliance-led administration as “illegitimate”, saying it is a product of a judicial coup.

According to procedures, the CJ will have seven days from the day he will have the order on his desk to empanel judges to hear the case.

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